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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.
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.