Two years ago, one of Odra’s captains showed me an old black-and-white documentary found on a flea market - "Along Odra from Wrocław and Szczecin" (dir. W. Drymer). The film shows a barge flow down Odra and an image of the post-war world. In sunny landscapes of torn down by wars towns there is a spirit of reconstruction. Ports, shipyards, sluices create an atmosphere of a great world, interrupted by ruins of post-war devastation, but also a new world being built with hope.

Inspired by this silent image I decided to take the same route. Embarked on one of the few cargo ships still sailing on Odra’s waters I recorded music to this old movie in natural, neighboring areas of the river. Camera accompanied me as I took up this journey with Ewa Dobrołowicz and the eye of the camera. By the end of the summer a documentary supplemented with archival images will be created.

Time has shown that what was stored on the archive tape, after less than 60 years, disappeared almost completely. We were looking for traces of that river, checking, what was still there and what was only a shade of faded photos.

Michał Zygmunt / July 2015 /

This artistic document shows a barge trip from Wrocław to Szczecin. During the cruise on Odra Michał Zygmunt creates live music in natural environment of the river, using archival sound coming from the post-war newsreels. A modern image of the river interspersed with an archival film creates a story full of subtle meanings.

Text: Michał Zygmunt, Form & Time

Photo: Ewa Dobrołowicz