A coal mine in the human brain; representing medical assistance by Tomasz Judym to industrial workers. Colour lithograph by Wongel, 1976.
- Wongel, graphic designer, active approximately 1976-
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About this work
At the top of a human spinal column with numbered cervical vertebrae, instead of a brain is an image of an industrial plant including mining equipment. The poster represents the contrast between the medical and social causes of disease (including among the latter poverty and injustice): the numbered vertebrae represents Dr Judym's medical training, while the coal mine represents the social reality that occupies his mind
A poster advertising the 1975 film "Doktor Judym" of the 1899 novel Ludzie bezdomni ("Homeless people") by Stefan Źeromski. The central character of the novel is Tomasz Judym, who trains as a doctor in Paris and is then appointed as the head of a sanatorium for rich patients in Cisy in Polish-speaking Eastern Europe. However Tomasz is repelled by the aristocrats' disregard for the wellbeing and indeed lives of the local farm workers, who have a status somewhere between that of a serf and a servant. He therefore leaves his wealthy patients and moves to Sosnowiec (in Silesia, near Katowice) to become a doctor to the labourers in a coal mine. He remains always torn between the well-off life which he could have led (with his fiancée) and the grim reality of the lives of the miners, among whom he has chosen to live