Ottawa Exhibition – Banned on the Hill: 1 More Week!

by Franke James

“Banned on the Hill” protests the Harper Government’s censorship of Franke James art work, and the muzzling of environmental scientists.

Canada’s First Crowd-funded ArtShow On Outdoor Ads
Protests Climate Artist’s Censorship

Franke James beside her Dear Prime Minister Please Stop Blacklisting poster is holding a page from the government ATIP document

November 2-27th, 2011:

“Franke James’ commitment to art, free expression and political commentary put her in the cross-hairs of the Harper Government. Come and see what the government didn’t want the world to see.” ~ Elizabeth May, MP Saanich, Leader, Green Party of Canada

Canadian artist Franke James’ crowd-funded, outdoor art show, Banned on the Hill is up until Sunday, November 27, 2011. Franke’s visual essays – about rising emissions, loafing leaders and her personal responses to our environmental challenges – have earned her a spot on the Harper Government’s blacklist.

The artist has mounted her “Banned on the Hill” show in downtown Ottawa to protest the Harper Government’s censorship of her work, and the muzzling of environmental scientists.

When her European tour was finally called off, Franke was resolute, “I will not be cancelled by the Harper Government.” Franke decided to fight back using her creativity and social-media savvy. Franke spread the word on Twitter, and then launched Canada’s first crowd-funded media campaign at to bring her art to the Prime Minister’s doorstep.

Banned on the Hill, will run on the streets of Ottawa for the month of November. Franke commented, “It’s very neat that Banned on the Hill is Canada’s first crowd-funded art show on outdoor ad media… For me, it’s a great way to shine a bright light on the Canadian Government’s censorship of my climate change art and their muzzling of environmental scientists. I think we’ll see lots more crowd-funded art shows on outdoor ads. Many people — especially artsy activists with a message — will see the power of using crowd-funding to pay for billboards and street posters. It is such a cool idea and great way to change the conversation from consuming stuff, to making positive social change happen. Big thanks to Colin Mutchler at Loudsauce for helping to make my dream happen.”

“Your Banned on the Hill campaign is very powerful. The fact that you’re getting people online to drive something to happen in a real space is profoundly different and potentially disruptive. It will be even more meaningful, than perhaps the show would have been in Europe, for the culture of Canada, for the conversation around what’s important, and for how we combat climate change. I’m super inspired. Hoping that we can really inspire others to rock in the same way, and change the world.” ~ Colin Mutchler, Co-Founder, LoudSauce

About the Blacklisting by the Canadian Government
Franke James’ 20-city European art show was cancelled as a result of direct interference by the Canadian Embassy in Croatia. Franke decided to fight back using her creativity and social-media savvy. She spread the word on Twitter, and then launched Canada’s first crowd-funded media campaign at to bring her art to the Prime Minister’s doorstep. See the show in Ottawa until November 27th. Read the visual essay about Franke’s Blacklisting: Banned on the Hill (and in Europe!) Check out the pictures of the opening launch.

Location of Street Ad Posters:
Bank Street, (between Wellington and Queen), Ottawa, ON
Date: November 2-27th, 2011

Banned on the Hill Posters

Here is the artwork for the six “Dear Prime Minister” posters:
Dear Prime Minister, Please stop blacklisting our environmental messengers. Artists and scientists are the early warning system. Dear Prime Minister, The Tar Sands is Canada's biggest and fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution. Will our kids be angry that Alberta was ravaged? Less than 1% of of the land has been certified as reclaimed. Dear Prime Minister, Canadians Joke about global warming. Is that because the hard truths have been played down? Please stop muzzling our scientists.

Dear Prime Minister, you say that the other parties are 'Dangerous' because they will tax pollution. But if we don't tax pollution who will clean up the mess. Dear Prime Minister, CO2 keeps rising but our leaders keep loafing. Please do something before we are all toast. Dear Prime Minister, Is it right to use the sky as a sewer?

Titles of the six “Dear Prime Minister” art posters on the streets:

  1. Please Stop Blacklisting!
  2. Alice in Hell: The Dirtiest Oil on Earth
  3. Canada’s Global Warming Joke
  4. Dangerous Parties
  5. Leaders Loafing
  6. Sewer Sky

Support for Franke James

“Franke James is among the tiny handful of really powerful and profound artists who have taken on climate change – the most important topic on the planet, but one so big and all-encompassing that it often defies artistic interpretation. Her work is incredibly important for many of us around the world.”
~ Bill McKibben, Founder

“Franke James’ work is honest, powerful and funny. She has a rare ability to sweep past the polarization and complexity of critical issues and shine a stark spotlight without over simplifying. Her work is not be missed by anyone interested in climate change or the future of Canada!” ~ Tzeporah Berman,  Co-director Climate and Energy Greenpeace International

“Artistic communicator par excellence, Franke James is a Canadian visionary and master of inspiration for lighting the passions around the epochal realms of our time. Her visual essays brilliantly pare the broad complexities of climate change down to a human scale narrative that resonates with the Canadian public.”  Toby A. A. Heaps,  Editor-in-Chief, Corporate Knights Magazine

“The words ‘visual artist’ do too little justice to Franke James. She is a commentator and educator, an entertainer and provocateur. Her thoughtful and thought-provoking work is whimsical, accessible and resolutely non-confrontational – sometimes indignant, but never impolite. Franke can’t make me feel better about climate change, but she’s one of the few people around who gives me hope.”  ~ Richard Littlemore, co-author of Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming

“Our climate experts are desperate to explain their science in a way that promotes action. So are environmentalists, social justice activists, and intellectuals of all stripe. Franke James just might have the key. Her visual essays make detailed, sound arguments, but they are delivered in a way that lets people hear. She eschews polemics, admits her own uncertainties, and draws everyone into the circle of change. Here’s one voice I’d like the whole world to hear.” ~ Cathryn Wellner, This Gives Me Hope

About Franke James:
Franke James is an award-winning artist whose visual essays on environmental and social issues have been reviewed and showcased around the world. She is the author of the illustrated book, Bothered by My Green Conscience. Franke has received awards and support from Telefilm Canada, the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the Banff Centre, and others. She is a member of the Writers Union of Canada, PEN Canada and CARFAC. Franke has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria.

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