An important role was played in the armed struggle against the Russian authorities by women who were active within the Polish Socialist Party’s paramilitary units. In underground jargon they were known as Dromaderki, the feminine form of the Polish word for dromedaries―the one-humped Arabian camels used to transport people and goods―because they carried weapons, ammunition and explosive materials. In the Częstochowa district alone there were several dozen of them. Unfortunately, most of them have remained anonymous; the names or aliases of only a few of them have survived to the present day. In 'civilian' life they were students, teachers, doctors, housewives or factory workers. Active involvement in the fight for independence meant the risk of imprisonment, lengthy sentences to hard labour, or exile to Siberia. From the afterword by Juliusz Sętowski
This picture book is by an author whose works are mainly associated with harsh criticism of patriarchy and the politics of exclusion. Commemorating the women who fought for Polish independence by smuggling weapons and ammunition during both the 1905 revolution and World War I, Dromedaries [a nickname referencing the dromedary, or Arabian camel – editor’s note] constitutes a political statement. One may notice, without much effort, parallels between these historical events and the present reality. An illustration depicting a suffragist arrested by the Tsarist police could just as well be a symbolic depiction of autumn 2020 in Poland.'-Jakub Demianczuk, Polish comics expert, culture.pl
'Marta Frej is on top form in this book, where with humour and dedication she depicts the unsung heroines who’ve been ignored by the standard textbooks.'-Sylwia Chutnik
Marta Frej is a painter, illustrator, and, through her role as chair of the 'Kulturoholizm' foundation, an organizer of cultural events. She is well known for her feminist online memes, which combine sparkling, pointed wit and finely crafted graphics. Marta Frej was born in Częstochowa in 1973. She is a graduate of the Łódź Academy of Fine Arts. Her creative work dedicated to the defence of gender equality and women's rights won her the 2015 'Spectacles of Equality' prize, awarded by the Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka Foundation. She also won the 2017 'Revelation of the Year' award in the art category. Her most popular works are her captioned pictures illustrating modern women's life in Poland, which have been exhibited in various galleries throughout the country. Dromedaries is her first solo publication in book form.