Tomasz Sarnecki (b. 1966), a young Polish graphic designer, transformed a publicity still of Gary Cooper striding down the street in the famous film High Noon (1952) into a campaign poster for the crucial 1989 Polish elections. The poster was displayed all over Poland, encouraging voters to end Communist control of Poland. The 1989 elections – the first democratic election in Eastern Europe since 1946 – finally brought to power Lech Walesa and the once outlawed Solidarity Party. (In 1980, after a rash of nationwide strikes, Solidarity gained recognition as the first legal independent trade union in a Soviet controlled country.) The year 2000 marks the 20th Anniversary of Solidarity — 1980-2000.
In the Solidarity (SOLIDARNOSC) poster, Sarnecki portrays Cooper armed with a folded ballot for Poland’s Solidarity Party in his right hand & wearing the Solidarity (SOLIDARNOSC) logo above his sheriff’s badge in a showdown with Communist ‘bandits’. The message at the bottom is short and to the point: “W SAMO POLUDNIE 4 CZERWCA 1989” – It’s High Noon, June 4, 1989.
History of NSZZ SOLIDARNOSC (Solidarity)
© Contemporary Posters