Entry Title: "The Dam"
Name: Krzysztof Kowalczyk , Poland
Category and Expertise: Environmental|Photo Essay and Feature Story|Other_ED|Deeper Perspective, Student


Entry Description: The construction of the Świnna Poręba reservoir in southern Poland has continued for over 40 years, with the completion deadline postponed again and again. Meanwhile, local residents were banned from building new homes or even renovating existing ones. For decades, they were told that the project would be completed ‘any day now.’ Now that the last residents are gone, only a few traces of their presence remain. I explore them in search of the relationship between humans and nature. Resistant as they are, both are in retreat, slowly making way for the long-awaited water.

Story: “I always come here when it is still dark. Before dawn the place is all mine. And the emptiness feels so pleasant. Then you have to wait until it stops blowing. At dawn the wind can be really strong. When the sun goes up, I check the spots to see what has changed. I walk to the archaeological sites to see how they erode. Then the felling area. Is the old willow still standing? Next I go to an empty house. In fact, I sneak up on it, not knowing why. I never stay there long. It is probably the smell. The construction of the Świnna Poręba dam in southern Poland has continued for over 40 years, with the completion deadline postponed again and again. Meanwhile, local residents were banned from building new homes or even renovating existing ones. For decades, they were told that the project would be completed ‘any day now.’ Now that the last residents are gone, only a few traces of their presence remain. I explore them in search of the relationship between humans and nature. Resistant as they are, both are in retreat, slowly making way for the long-anticipated water.”

About the Artist:

Documentary photographer based in Poland. MA Student at Institute of Creative Phography, Silesian University in Opava