In Albania people have named their children after the Vjosa river: the last system of wild waters flowing in Europe. Visiting the Vjosa is seeing something untouched by Human Hand. It's a river as Nature untended. The Seine, The Thames, the Hudson. We seem to have forgotten it was rivers that have brought us to life. Villages, towns and ruins along the Vjosa banks unfold as the scenery, feeding themselves from the fertile streams. We used to take them as they were, using only what we discovered in their waters. Yet over time we learned how to control them in a way that makes sense to Man, as our cities and industries grew up aside them.
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The Albanian governments plans to turn the Vjosa into a dam.
Local activists in the Balkans are fighting to save their rivers—the last pristine, free-flowing waterways in Europe.
Sign Patagonia’s petition here.
Photography and words. Nick St.Oegger