Franke James is a Canadian artist, author and activist. Her visual stories, games and videos are focused on the environment, ethics and social justice.
Banned on the Hill, published in May 2013, is Franke James third book. Through eight visual essays, James traces her personal journey as an active citizen discovering the power of speaking out. Interviewed in the Guardian UK newspaper in May 2013, James said that she hoped the book would serve as a how-to guide to other activists hoping to fight back against government censorship, especially with humour. "It's kind of like a judo flip, meaning that you can actually flip someone who is much bigger than you."
ADVANCE WORD ON 'BANNED ON THE HILL'
“This book makes you think, and it gets you angry. Bravo!”
CLAYTON RUBY, C.M., B.A., LL.B., LL.M., LL.D. (honoris causa)
“The Canadian government has clamped down on scientists who tell the truth about the tarsands—and it’s tried to shut up artists too. Happily, Franke James is indefatigable!”
BILL MCKIBBEN, Founder, 350.org
“Franke James’ commitment to art, free expression and political commentary put her in the cross-hairs of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. See what the government didn’t want the world to see.”
ELIZABETH MAY, Leader, Green Party of Canada, MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands
“‘Banned on the Hill’ is such a feast for the eyes one could almost overlook the disturbing and sobering tale that it tells. In the battle to communicate the threat of climate change, we need all the ammunition we can muster. Franke brings it, with a deadly combination of artistic expression, verve, and wit.”
MICHAEL E. MANN, Distinguished Professor, Penn State University and author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars
“Franke James uses wit, insight, and keen powers of observation to graphically portray hard political truths about Canada’s Harper government, climate change, and our precious natural world.”
LINDA SOLOMON, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-chief, Vancouver Observer
“Oppression begins with the suppression of dissent. The first to be silenced are the artists and the activists. In Franke James, Stephen Harper found both. Franke is an example of how to effectively fight back.” JOHN BENNETT, Executive Director, Sierra Club Canada
“No wonder the Canadian government thinks Franke James is dangerous. One recent Canadian economic study says 78% of proven Canadian fossil fuel reserves must stay in-ground to meet climate targets… Franke’s art not only explains the global climate crisis in understandable and witty ways, but she’s a pretty damn good organizer too, as her free speech campaign has proven. Not so smart, Canadian poobahs— Franke James has something to say, and you really helped her get the word out.”
MICHAEL NOBLE, Executive Director at Fresh Energy
“Franke James’ work is honest, powerful and funny. Her work is not to be missed by anyone interested in climate change or the future of Canada!”
TZEPORAH BERMAN, Author and Co-founder ForestEthics
“Franke’s visual essays are brilliant and incisive and help shine a light on one of our country’s most pressing issues—the erosion of democracy. Her work should serve as an inspiration to concerned citizens everywhere.”
EMMA GILCHRIST, Communications Director, Dogwood Initiative
“It is great! Some welcome gallows humor in the Through the Looking Glass World that is Harperland!”
DR. DAVID SCHINDLER, Killam Memorial Chair, University of Alberta
“Franke James fearlessly devotes her creative energy and artistic talent to stand up for Canadian democracy and the health of our planet. Her dedication can serve as a model for all who seek to restore Canada’s reputation as a principled nation that must take action on climate change.”
BRENDAN DEMELLE, Executive Director, DeSmogBlog
“Franke James is doing what’s right for our country. We need more voices like her’s to punch through the right wing rhetoric and bullying that has besieged our great country.”
KEVIN GRANDIA, President of Spake Media House
“Whether deflating ethical oil or unraveling our access to information system, Franke James defends Canada’s natural capital with provocative imagery and tough questions. Banned on the Hill may be the planet’s most enjoyable how-to-write-to-your-elected official guide, and it reveals that the Harper regime can’t bully every foe into submission.”
ERIC RUMBLE, Editor-in-chief, Alternatives Journal
“Franke James isn’t afraid to take on anyone, from the Harper government to big corporations. When my co-editor, Kim Blank, and I decided to edit a book of cultural readings for university students, we knew that we wanted James and Rachel Carson to anchor the conclusion on the environment.”
STEPHEN EATON HUME, Author of Economics Writing
“While Canadians are busily working and trying to provide a future for their children the Harper government is busily working to assure the future for big oil and fossil fuel corporations. Franke James’ work illustrates in delightful fashion how these goals are incompatible, incurring the wrath of the government in the process. We are left to ask ourselves, ‘do we want the government suppressing free speech and interfering in the work of Canadian artists?’”
KARL KNOX, Radio Host, CJLO, Concordia University
“Franke James’ art and activism embodies the good-hearted, creative, and compassionately critical voice in response to a world out of whack. This important book brings to light a government that would dare to silence such a sane and necessary voice.”
JON-ERIK LAPPANO, Environmental Educator, Former Managing Editor of Corporate Knights
James two previous books "Bothered By My Green Conscience" and "Dear Office-Politics: the game everyone plays" were both published in 2009. In Bothered by My Green Conscience, she recounts her adventures in going green, which included selling her only car, an SUV, and fighting bureaucracy at City Hall for the right to build a green driveway. (She won!)
"Dear Office-Politics" won a 2010 Axiom Business Book Award in HR/Training. The Axiom Business Book Awards are dedicated to identifying the best business books published each year for the North American market. They are the only U.S.-based award contest focused solely on business books.
"James's splashy sense of humor and style catapults this book from the field of humdrum human resources exercises to an entertaining discussion of the pantheon of office types... Winner of an Axiom Business Book Award for 2010, Dear Office-Politics is recommended for team-building meetings, as well as for pleasure reading." ForeWord Reviews
"Bothered by My Green Conscience" won the 2010 Green Book Festival Award for Graphic Novels. Bruce Haring at the Green Book Festival said, "Franke's book is a sheer delight and the judges are proud to honor it with this award."
Franke’s artwork and books have won awards and been featured in print, TV, radio and online in Canada, the USA and in many parts of the world. Her 2012 story, 'What is Harper afraid of?', has prompted more than 7,924 people to write to their local MPs and the Prime Minister. Her interactive quiz, How many climate deniers could you fight off? has been played more than 3,400 times, from Washington to Warsaw, Mumbai to Melbourne.
Franke James is a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada, PEN Canada, and Canadian Artists Representation (CARFAC). Franke has delivered keynotes, speeches and workshops at educational events in Canada and the USA.
Franke is co-founder of The James Gang Art & Design, with over 20 years experience as a creative design and marketing professional. She has a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Victoria, and a BFA from Mount Allison University. She lives in Toronto, where her favorite mode of transportation is walking.
Please visit http://www.frankejames.com to read more about Franke's environmental work.
Please visit http://www.officepolitics.com to read Franke's advice on how to play the office politics game with integrity.