Odra, part 1

Odra (Oder) is the river of my childhood. I grew up in Wroclaw, Poland. As a child I ran away from the city hustle to river’s nature. Sadly, during hot summers the water was not fit for swimming due to its strong contamination. Fortunately, its condition is much better today.

As a teenager I would ride a bicycle many kilometres along the river bank, enjoying my freedom.

At that time– in the 1980s– the river transport flourished. I loved to look at vessels. I always felt like jumping right onto a barge and going to a faraway place. Today, as a result of a deep crisis in river transport, a view of tugboats with barges has become a rarity.

As a student, I used to go on dates by the Odra.

 This photo-essay which I pursued in 2008–2013, was a natural continuation of my need to stay close to the river. I wished to find out, in need of protection, what it is that connects people to the Odra and how strong that connection is. I realised that, for people living in the river’s vicinity, it is an unbreakable link. 

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A meeting of sailing ships during the Sea Days in Szczecin. The Swedish sailing ship The Baltic Beauty is reflected in the window of the Russian sailing ship Sedov. 2011
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