Activism in The Walrus: ‘Do Not Talk about Climate Change’
by Franke James
There is a sense of humour and rebellion to the placement of my ad in The Walrus just in time for the Federal Election. It’s an unlikely magazine to advertise in given its embrace of oil advertising.
So, how did my “Do Not Talk about Climate Change” artwork end up in The Walrus? Did I reach into my pocket and find an extra six thousand dollars? Nope. It was thanks to a generous “activist gift” from Rita Wong, an award-winning Canadian author and professor who was given the complimentary ad for her performance at a Walrus Arts event.
Well, it didn’t take me a split-second to jump up and shout, “What a brilliant idea! Wow! Thank you.”
Thank you Rita Wong for your activism!
Because popping up in unlikely places is what gets people talking about Climate Change — a subject the Harper government does not want discussed.
The fine print on the “Do Not Talk about Climate Change” poster is a quote from an internal government email released to me under access to information laws:
Here are some of the other unlikely spots my artwork has popped up…
“Do Not Talk about Climate Change” popped up in Ottawa, Calgary, and Halifax thanks to Indiegogo funding from 221 people.
This animation was unexpected on the front page of The Hill Times — the government’s favourite newsweekly
Who could have imagined that “Do Not Talk about Climate Change” would pop up in schools? But I’m glad students are debating the censorship issue.
Thanks to the BCCLA, “Do Not Talk about Climate Change” popped up in Vancouver!
But I dare not breathe a word — because it would only take one phone call from Ottawa to crush it.
Protecting our right to free expression is why I am VOTING for a change of politics in Canada on October 19th.
Because democracy only thrives when people can talk freely!
Vancouver Observer: Repression-proof artist, Franke James, celebrated by BCCLA