Danube Delta

Harbor - Danube Delta

Photo text

Maks Chernega

Maks Chernega. Fisherman and sailor from the small city of Vylkove, at the utmost southwest of Ukraine. We met him by chance while trying to find a captain who would take us on a tour around the many channels in the Danube Delta separating Ukraine and Romania. Most people in the south and west of Ukraine speaks only Ukrainian and Russian, which is an tongue out of our league, so when Maks came over and began translating between English and Ukrainian we soon had a deal with Alex the Captain. An hour later we sailed out in a small four passengers motor boat Maks translating Alex’s stories and anecdotes about the Danube Delta with its swamp settlers living in self-build sheds and houses without electricity and internet, growing their own vegetables, brewing their own vine, chicken and gooses wandering around freely in this unique timeless corner of Ukraine.


I’m waiting for you on the collapsed pier
While you take another photo of abandoned railway wagons,
Battered boats, pieces of scrap metal, blooming plum trees,
Wild tulips, crumbling houses and dusty facades
Obeying your every invading artistic desire
Below me in the proud river of Vylkove
Hypnotized by its still green waters
I see the reflection of two young guys
They are wearing dirty yellow working suits
And a rough emotionless smile
Local fishermen speaking Russian
Smoking home rolled cigars
With incomprehensible gestures
You want us to pose together on the pier
In the background is the local fish factory
The last dying symbol from an Utopian Soviet era
Repeatably we change positions
With your camera and hands you’re in command
Leading us through imaginative lands
Traveling together is a matter of letting go
Trusting each others love


PHOTO & VIDEO: Sila Yalazan // @silayalazan
TEXT: Steen Andersen // @just_another_alter_ego