Wroclaw, Poland. Children play by the Bartoszowicki weir.
Odra is the second largest river in Poland. Its waters joins three countries: Czech, where it starts, Poland and Germany. I grew up on the banks of this river in the communist era playing with my best friend on boats and on a landfill of anchors, observing barges that transported coal. I often dreamed of jumping on such a barge and going to the unknown. When I was a teenager I often walked many kilometers along the river searching for rare species of birds as an amateur ornithologist. At that time, Odra was just a beautiful sewage – a mixture of water, fecal and toxic, irritating chemical substances.
Now, after 22 years of post-communist transformation Odra is slightly cleaner but barges became a rarer view.
This project is a continuation of my fascination in this river. Through these photographs I want to explore people’s connections with Odra and to explore its natural beauty. I want to share my impressions with viewers hoping that this story will somehow increase peoples need of protecting this beautiful river.
River Odra near Wroclaw, Poland in winter. A small bay where current cause rotation of ice particles.
Captain Czeslaw Szarek (on the right) goes out with his ship from a river shipyard’s bay.
Maneuvers after entering a sandbank.
Szczecin, Poland. A river sailor Zbyszek Laskowski comes back to his ship with food. Due to a strong wind the ship had to be anchored in a wild place.
From the left: sailors Piotr Karpacz, Czeslaw Szarek (Captain), Zbyszek Laskowski rest in the ship’s kitchen after a day of flowing down the river.
Wroclaw, Poland. A students’ party on a pleasure boat.
Wroclaw, Poland. Andrzej, a homeless man burns out an isolation of copper wires to sell them.
Captain Czeslaw Szarek looks angrily at his ship’s crew working with an anchor.
Wroclaw, Poland. Eight with coxswain, the crew from Wroclaw’s Technical University train hard before annual competition with another university. This crew won the race.
Wroclaw, Poland. Eight with coxswain, the crew from Wroclaw’s Technical University take out their boat of the water after their training.
Wroclaw, Poland. Barges full of coal are unloaded by the banks of the city’s power station.
Wroclaw, Poland. A pleasure boat.
Wroclaw, Poland. A man struggles to open the door to his block of flats during the flood.
Szczecin, Poland. Czeslaw Mazur a mechanic onboard an icebreaker “Wilk” (Wolf) observes other icebreakers in action.
A break at work on a ship. From the left Czeslaw Szarek, Captain, Piotr Karpacz, sailor.
River Odra near Wroclaw, Poland.
Wroclaw, Poland. A barmaid finishes her day of work on a pleasure boat.
Wroclaw, Poland. River shipyard.
Born in Wroclaw, Poland in 1972. Graduated at the Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics at the University of Wroclaw. Received Master’s degree in Law in 1997. Finished post graduate studies; his doctoral thesis covered International Space Law. He renounced law and discontinued his doctorate for photography. Mikolaj is a freelancer cooperating e.g. with “National Geographic Poland” and “Newsweek Poland”. Since 2006 he participated in numerous workshops with National Geographic photographer Tomasz Tomaszewski. In 2010 he became a student of the co-founder of VII agency Antonin Kratochvil.