Franke James Blacklisted?

by: EJ on 08/24/2011
Posted in: Activism

 

Visual artist and New Society author Franke James is having an interesting summer.  She was invited to participate in an art show organized by Nektarina Non Profit in Croatia.  The purpose of the show was to help raise environmental awareness with youth and to inspire teens to make their own climate change art.  This kind of work is Franke at her best. 

Things started to go sideways when the Canadian Consulate was approached to donate money to the project.  They refused.  According to the official statement on Nektarina's website, the reason stated was "She (Franke James) speaks against the Canadian Government." You can read the entire story here.

The Canadian Government's treatment of Franke and her art has prompted the website Care2 to start a petition targeting Prime Minister Harper. 

But Franke has her own message for Ottawa.  "Stop blacklisting Franke James -- and stop silencing our environmental artists and scientists! Free speech is a basic right of a democratic country."

Just to be sure the message is heard, Franke is creating custom-designed posters for a billboard campaign. She is collecting pledges to help her buy the media space in order to mount the poster campaign in Ottawa this October. 

The Writers' Union of Canada is also concerned. Greg Hollingshead, Chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada, sent a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, John Baird expressing their concern.  “The Writers’ Union of Canada has an interest in ensuring the rights and freedoms of all writers, and Franke James is one of our members… It is disturbing to hear reports from the Croatian sponsor that Canadian officials have discouraged support for an artist for political reasons.  We believe that these charges warrant a fuller inquiry and ask to be informed of the results.”

To show your support for Franke and her work, you can sign the petition here and contribute to her billboard pledge here.

 

Watch for Franke's coming Guest Post about her "Blacklisting Party". 

 

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