“Banned on the Hill” Goes to Halifax!

by Franke James

Quick recap: The Banned on the Hill campaign blew past the original fundraising goal to hit $12,869. (That’s 257% over!) This is enabling the posters to travel to more cities. The first stop on the extended tour is Halifax, Nova Scotia. Suitably for a Maritime city, the posters are up in the bustling Ferry Terminal, welcoming visitors as they arrive in Halifax. Franke James at the Halifax Ferry Terminal: Photo by Nick Pearce, Dalhousie News, Sept 12/13. (See the map of the terminal showing where the two posters are currently displayed.)


Do Not Talk about Climate Change? Ha! That is what the Harper government would love, but more and more Canadians are standing up and saying we’re not going to be muzzled. “Banned on the Hill” is on a roll thanks to Indiegogo funders who contributed to get the Do Not Talk about Climate Change posters up… First in Ottawa. And now in Halifax!

Halifax welcomed me and nine of my Banned on the Hill posters — in great style. Phenomenal! Amazing! I got a very warm hug ‘down East’.

Fall2013_ESS_Sept12_500brushOne Indiegogo funder in particular gets special thanks for making this happen: The College of Sustainability at Dalhousie University purchased my “perk” to give a keynote talk and a Green Conscience Art Workshop (co-sponsored by the Dalhousie Art Gallery).

On September 12th, I presented at Dalhousie’s evening series of weekly Environment, Sustainability and Society Lectures. My visual presentation “Speaking up for the climate and against censorship” featured three of my stories. When the Sustainability Director Steven Mannell first contacted me to arrange the talk he wrote, “Our early fall lecture often presents an historic figure (Rachel Carson, John Muir) through performance; I think your story is a strong contemporary resonance of the resistance of these individuals, and we don’t need an actor to play your part!”

It was very cool and a great honour to speak at Dalhousie. There was a packed audience of 475 people, a mix of students and the public. My main point for the students was to let them know the importance of speaking up for the planet. And to emphasize that censorship doesn’t work. Especially if you can wield a paintbrush. Most Canadians don’t get too excited about censorship, so I was thrilled that I got the Dalhousie crowd on their feet and clapping — and many stayed afterwards to speak with me, take photos and sign books. It was a special night. Marie Visca’s article, Painting a Picture of Dissent in the Dalhousie News, includes reactions to my talk. Christina Joynt, an ESS (Sustainability) and IDS (International Development Studies) student said, “As a second year, I’ve attended a number of guest lectures, but I thought this one added a lot of enthusiasm to environmental ethics and lobbying of environmental rights. The blacklisting of citizens is something that I didn’t realize took place under Harper’s government.”

The College of Sustainability also arranged to have an art show of my large posters from the original outdoor protest show in November 2011 in Ottawa. Below is a shot of two posters in the Ottawa show two years ago…


And then how they looked on the Dalhousie campus in September 2013.





More from Halifax…


“Thanks so much for the excellent presentation you gave at the Ecology Action Centre! I’m delighted that I was also able to be at your talk/slide show last night at Dalhousie. Your work is an inspiration to all of us who are already involved in dealing with the horrible threat of climate change, and, I’m sure, equally so to others who you have helped bring into the movement.” Ruth Gamberg, Volunteer EAC

RABBLE: “Franke James: Artist and activist extraordinaire!” by Chris Majka

“Franke James is a Canadian political and artistic phenomenon. A wicked thorn in the side of Stephen Harper; a woman fiercely passionate about the pressing need to address climate change; a witty and imaginative artist who would not acquiesce to having her work silenced and censored by the Harper government; and an activist and educator working to empower citizens and galvanize progressive change in our society. More…

Upcoming posts: Dalhousie students talk about their green conscience:


“Franke’s talk was very inspirational and easy to follow. She is a great storyteller on paper and in the flesh! She is also somewhat of a bad ass, I loved hearing her story!” Alice, Dalhousie student

Photo and Design Credits:
Franke James at the Halifax Ferry Terminal: Photo by Nick Pearce, Dalhousie News, Sept 12/13.
Photos of Banned on the Hill Posters at Dalhousie by Franke James
Photos of Dalhousie students at art workshop by Franke James
All posters designed by Franke James.

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