(go take) a walking tour of Franke Jame’s banned art. Jame’s refers to her fun but punchy art as banned because her 2011-2012 European Art Tour featuring forty posters in twenty cities, organized by Nektarina Nonprofit was cancelled due to Canadian government intervention. Nektarina was warned that ‘Jame’s speaks against the Canadian government.’
Jame’s kicked off today’s tour with an update on this front. She finally received her access to information request inquiring why and how the government was involved in the cancelling of this tour. She held up a piece of paper with a crucial portion of text blacked out. When she investigated, she found out that this text was blocked under section 15.1 which has to do with international affairs and the defence of Canada. James response is that this is outrageous, that her art could have anything to do with the defence of Canada.
According to her press release, the internal documents she now has access to, confirm – contrary to what Harper government officials have been saying – that funding was approved and then withdrawn under orders from the Deputy Director of Climate Change at Foreign Affairs.
Jame’s current 6 poster display in downtown Ottawa very close to Parliament Hill was entirely fundraised by individuals through crowdfunding. It is a creative way to use advertisement space and was certainly catching passerby’s attention.
Her message is quite simple. Dear Harper – stop blacklisting our environmental messages. She refers not only to her own experience, but to a pattern demonstrated by our federal government.
For example, in 2007 the Harper government passed new media rules that have managed to muzzle federal climate scientists. These rules, as exposed in the 2010 release of Environment Canada documents, require federal climate scientists to have permission from the government to conduct media interviews. Media coverage of climate change science has be reduced over 80 per cent since (for more information).
Her art conveys simple, points: Dear Prime Minister Harper, is it right to use the air as a sewer? Dear Prime Minister Harper, you say that the other parties are ‘dangerous’ because they will tax polluters, but if we don’t tax polluters who will pay to clean up the mess? Dear Prime Minister Harper, CO2 keeps rising (it’s now in the danger zone.) But our leaders keep loaf-ing. Please do something before we’re all TOAST!
Le Devoir, CBC and Sun TV were present for the tour.
If you are in Ottawa, take a stroll down Bank, Franke’s art is between Queen and Wellington and is worthy of a visit.