Banned on the Hill!

Artist stands up to Harper Government intimidation and brings her “banned” art to the streets of Ottawa

OTTAWA, November 2, 2011 – Canadian artist Franke James will open her crowd-funded, outdoor art show, Banned on the Hill in downtown Ottawa at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, November 2, 2011. Franke will give a walking tour showing the “banned art” which the Harper Government did not want exhibited in Europe.

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. Earlier this year, Franke’s 20-city European art tour was cancelled after interference by the Harper Government.

In media interviews, the Harper Government has denied any interference saying, “funding was never withdrawn nor was it guaranteed.” However, internal government documents, released this week through the Access To Information Act, show that funding was approved and then withdrawn under orders from the Deputy Director of Climate Change at Foreign Affairs.

The tour’s Croatian producer, Nektarina Non Profit said they “felt patronized and even intimidated”. Canadian Embassy officials warned Nektarina not to continue with the Franke James exhibitions, saying “Don’t you know this lady speaks against the Canadian government?”

Canadian officials pointed to Franke’s 2008 visual essay, Dear Prime Minister as an example of her unpatriotic nature. When Franke heard this, she was shocked. “I’m getting into trouble for writing a letter to my Prime Minister? Asking him to make polluters pay?? This doesn’t make any sense at all!”

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 LoudSauce.com to bring her art to the Prime Minister’s doorstep.

Franke James’ outdoor art show, Banned on the Hill, will run on the streets of Ottawa for the month of November. (Unless it gets banned … again!)

Contact Franke James: 416-256-9166 (studio), 416-669-0504 (mobile), franke@frankejames.com

For more information: http://www.frankejames.com. Twitter:
http://twitter.com/frankejames

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