I live in Bydgoszcz since childhood, a city that recently turned its attention favorably towards the Brda River that ends in it. In order to know my river better, I set off on a trip. For a year I visited places in the river’s vicinity, looking for surprising or extraordinary pieces of reality. The whole trip turned uncanny when I discovered second place named Bydgoszcz - a small village near the source of the river. The distance between these two Bydgoszczs is 106 kilometers in a straight line. It is an unusual space in which I began to „Flow”.
01 - You can find a legend on the Internet claiming that Napoleon crossed the Brda with his army near the small town of Drzewicz in 1810. A curious tourist can find a stony plaquette in the place the Emperor presumably rested under a linden. Piotr Lenart, in costume, often takes part in reenactments. His arrival to the campsite in Drzewicz triggered interest in the resting campers. Aleksandra Siatecka, who was one of them, confessed that she made up the whole Napoleon legend with her friends at a party with the help of alcohol. How could she predict that the whole scam would unleash to the effect of visiting buses with French tourists. 02 - Here is the Relaxation Center Leśna Cisza in the town of Babilon, built in 1975 by the Bydgoszcz Transport Authority for its workers. After many rehabs it is now open to all tourists. The visitors like to stroll along the Brda, go canoeing, or rent a water bike. In the middle of the Centre there is a seasonal café called Arizona. The Center offers 20 rental bungalows for visitors. 03 - Sławek Piotrowski invented the Great Bottle Race on the Brda 8 years ago and has kept organizing it since. During this time his team managed to acquire the necessary skills of building boats from bottles. The problem is not the displacement of water, but the stability of their construction. Sławek laughs that they applied an „outerspace technology” this year. They have been building their rocket for weeks, mostly in their spare time. The method proves right. They did not drown and finished in 10th place. 04 - A salmon caught by an angler in Brda in 1953 embellishes the premises of the Bydgoszcz Division of the Polish Anglers Association. The river is called by anglers „The Pearl of Pomerania”. Annually the existing pool of fish gets stocked with trout, grayling, and sea trout in those legs of the river classified as mountain waters. The fees for anglers in these areas are higher than in the lowlands. The local press reported that in July 7, 2012 Marek Wilma caught a red piranha in the Brda. The fish, which lives in South America, is considered to be the most dangerous species in the world. 05 - Once a year, volunteers meet at the Mylof dam to participate in the Winter Rafting of Energy Workers on the Brda. The 50th edition of the event took place in 2016. Participants traversed over 50 kilometers in 3 days. Wojciech Szala is the last segment pilot; he is paddling for the 9th time. Although he’s paddled in a lot of places, the Brda is one of his favorites rivers. At present he prefers solitary trips to organized ones, as they help him to calm down.
Born in 1986 in Kraków, Markowski lives with his family in Bydgoszcz. Photographer-autodidact, he graduated from the Higher School of Economy in Bydgoszcz with a degree in sociology. He started taking photographs in 2006. Markowski worked for daily newspapers for 8 years. In 2015 he became a member of the Sputnik Photos Mentorship Program. A year after he joined Un-Posed, a street photography collective. He is the recipient of a grant from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Winner of some of the most prestigious photo competitions in Poland and abroad, Markowski received the important Photographer of the Year award in the Event category for the International Photography Awards 2016. He was also ranked first in the competition for the Photojournalist of the Year 2016 held by polish Association of Photojournalist.