Franke James has been compared to a ‘cockroach’ the Canadian government would like to stomp on. She’s also been called a ‘troublesome artist’ for asking tough questions about Canada’s dirty oil, leaky pipelines and failing environmental record. The Guardian UK wrote,
“Canada, under the government of Stephen Harper, has exhibited little patience for dissent… But there is apparently one woman whom the government can’t shut up: the Toronto environmental writer, illustrator and activist Franke James, who turned the efforts to silence her into material for a new book. Banned on the Hill: A True Story about Dirty Oil and Government Censorship… shows how Canadian bureaucrats tried to silence James because her views on climate change clashed with the Harper government’s push to develop Alberta’s tar sands.”
According to government documents released through freedom of information, James was censored because her art was "advocating a message that was contrary to the government's policies on climate change." The artist has fought the silencing by launching a crowd-funded art show that put her “Do Not Talk about Climate Change” posters on the streets of Ottawa, and is now in Halifax. It will travel to other Canadian and US cities in 2013.
Franke is the author of Banned on the Hill (2013), Bothered By My Green Conscience (2009) and Dear Office-Politics (2009). Franke holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Victoria and a BFA from Mount Allison University. She is an award-winning author and has delivered keynotes and workshops at universities in the US and Canada.
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