A photo exhibition by Michael Anker and Pia Stach in the House of Nature Care Bad Freienwalde

For the opening on Saturday, 23.07., a program day dedicated to the aquatic nature of the Oderbruch will take place from 11.00 am.

The photo project "Water or Land" goes in search of the invisible - that which has disappeared from the landscape since the Oderbruch was drained. As a basis, historical geographical Schmettau maps (1767-1787) are compared with current biotopes (see the two pictures).

Before it was drained, the Oderbruch was a paradise for the entire animal world that lived in, around and above the water. For the people living in the quarry at that time, the enormous wealth of fish, crayfish and water fowl represented the most important basis of life. It can be assumed that they lived in a kind of symbiosis with this pristine habitat. This changed with the embankment of the Stromoder and the drainage of the former quarry landscape. The draining of the Oderbruch with the following transformation into an agricultural landscape represented a massive intervention in the biological diversity and thus in the livelihood of the former inhabitants of the quarry. Ultimately, it also led to the disappearance of an entire profession, the fishermen, with a few exceptions. What was once drained to serve as fertile arable land for food production, has to serve in the latest evolutionary stage of the Oderbruch for the cultivation of energy crops or the construction of solar parks.

The core of the project consists of artistic-documentary photographic works: Descriptions of the condition of biotopes 270 years after diking show their transformation. These photographs are taken in analog on black-and-white film. A look under water should make the invisible visible. In contrast to the black-and-white photographs by Michael Anker, artistic-ornamental macro photographs by Pia Stach show aquatic plants from the remaining waters.

A program day is planned on the occasion of the exhibition opening. Christian Wolter, scientist at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, will give a lecture about the change of the fish fauna in the Oder. The Oder fisherman Volker Dunker from Wriezen will talk about his changing difficult bread and butter and the Haus der Naturpflege will show a GDR documentary film about the inland fishermen of the GDR.

The exhibition "Water Or Land" will be held at the Haus der Naturpflege Bad Freienwalde from
7/23 - 10/16/2022 on display during business hours.