Banned on the Hill

STRETCH GOALS #2 and #3 ACHIEVED: Banned on the Hill Goes to Calgary and Washington! Read the update...
Franke James
3 Team Members

STRETCH GOALS #2 and #3 ACHIEVED: Banned on the Hill Goes to Calgary and Washington! Read the update...

STRETCH GOAL #1 ACHIEVED: Banned on the Hill Goes to Halifax! Read the update...

Banned on the Hill has the “GoGo Factor”

Banned on the Hill GoGo factor

Just a few days left to hit the ball out of the park on Banned on the Hill.

You can help take the show to Washington, Vancouver or Calgary…

Check out my new post which includes all the updates since the campaign began 42 days ago. [Link]


Let’s hit the ball out of the park. Let’s take my Banned Art — the same ART that the Harper government did NOT want the world to see — and spread the message further. Let’s take the show to Washington, Vancouver or Calgary.

Read what Elizabeth May, MP, and Green Party of Canada Leader said“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.”

[Link to the post]

Want to help??? There are over 12 banned perks you can buy depending on your pocket book. From $12.00 to $25,000.


BIG News!, the Seattle-based 'Beacon in the Smog', published their interview with me. Please read and share so that we can get more supporters to take the show to Washington, D.C.

A Franke discussion: How one artist fought back when the feds tried to shut her up

Grist screen shot A Franke discussion

Read article: A Franke discussion

Stretch goal Washington, Vancouver, Calgary

The first $5,000 paid for Ottawa. We did it! The S-T-R-E-T-C-H goal is to raise an additional $10,000 to go to another city. You can help by buying a perk and spreading the word. 

UPDATE JUNE 1/13: I am in Ottawa! The posters are up. Lots of people are talking.

Banned on the Hill header

Franke James in front of poster. Photo by Fred Chartrand

Celebrate the win — but not for too long! Yes, thanks to 142 Indiegogo funders from Canada, the U.S. and Europe, we used the $5000 to get the “Do Not Talk about Climate Change” posters up in Ottawa and online too. We’re off to a great start — see the major media below — but the BIG opportunity is to take the message to other Canadian and U.S. cities. 


THE GUARDIAN UK: Artist finds inspiration in Canadian government's attempt to silence her By Suzanne Goldenberg

CTV POWER PLAY: Don Martin interviews Franke James, Author of "Banned on the Hill' & Climate Activist

TORONTO STAR: Climate activist gets even with new book Print headline, A6, May 27, 2013 By Raveena Aulakh

VANCOUVER OBSERVER: Deep pocket PR vs. artist Franke James: the fight's on By Andrea Bennett

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Toronto artist Franke James says Harper government monitored her climate change artwork By Mike de Souza

GLOBE AND MAIL: Conservative attacks are nothing but bullying By Gerald Caplan

HUFFINGTON POST CANADA The story of Franke James and the art of activism By Kevin Grandia

The first $5,000 paid for Ottawa. We did it! The S-T-R-E-T-C-H goal is to raise an additional $10,000 to go to another city, like Calgary, Vancouver or even Washington. You can help by spreading the word.


Please support my Indiegogo Banned on the Hill Project: Buy a perk and join in... 

Hi—I'm Franke James. If you watched my video pitch you know I'm an artist and author—and that I got smacked down by Canada's Harper government for speaking up about dirty oil.

I am not alone. Scientists are complaining about being muzzled. Librarians are complaining about being muzzled. After two years of digging I know why I was muzzled. The Harper Government censored my art for "advocating a message that was contrary to the government's policies". Back in 2011, I organized a protest artshow in Ottawa and asked Harper to "Please stop blacklisting our environmental messengers—artists and scientists are the planet's early warning system".

Harper didn't listen to me. But many Canadians and the media did—my story was written up in the New York Times, featured on CBC's The Current, and the government's lies were exposed in the Vancouver Sun, the Vancouver Observer and many other news articles.

The seed was planted—awareness of how Harper is muzzling free speech in Canada has now spread worldwide.

We need to keep the pressure on. 

I need your help in my free speech fight against dirty oil and government censorship. By contributing to my campaign you'll be part of an important, FUN and unique project. Together we'll show Canada's Harper government that blacklisting and censoring citizens doesn't work (especially if they can wield a pen or a brush).


oilytruth600"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

Banned on the Hill book cover



HarperInterfere I dug for evidence to find out. Over the past 2 years I filed 'freedom of information' requests with four government departments. And I have received over 2,000 pages that explain why the government found my art so threatening (hint: dirty oil). Key documents are in my book including this very undiplomatic email from a diplomat who was blaming a staffer... (the black bars are "redactions" done to protect international security and conversations with/or about a Minister, etc.) Marr_oilbarrels600

The diplomat's email inspired me to draw the 'Bureaucat' illustration below.

FJiYF_catfart700 Harper_StinkHill700

Shockingly, the Government worked to shut down my show— and bully my supporters—simply because my climate change art was "advocating a message that was contrary to government policies".

Jean-Bruno Villeneuve, The artists’ work dealt mostly with climate change, and was advocating a message that was contrary to the government's policies on the subject.

Does this mean that ordinary citizens are not allowed to ask questions about government policy? Especially if they're asking about climate change? Isn't Canada a free country? PEN Canada spoke up for me by issuing a press release. They said, “The government of Canada has no right” to do this." I told the govt one thingGovernment fingerIf the Govt is not protecting my rights—or yours—who are they working for? Our rights are being squashed—and our country is being polluted—all to serve Big Oil. Scientists are being muzzled. First Nations are being pushed aside. Even our librarians are being told to shut up. The government cannot do this if we don't play along. They can't make ALL of us shut up. We have to fight back! For free speech. And for the environment. Please join my campaign. Tell Harper he can't silence our voices. Our Voices Joined Together Have The Power to Change Governments Together let's tell Harper we've had our fill. We will not be, Banned on the Hill.


It's going to buy "SPACE"...To make a big noise in Ottawa—and across Canada— and (with the help of social media) right around the world. What SPACE?

Space on the streets, on the web, on walls, on coffee tables, in coffee shops, and above all in the space between people's ears.

Why? Because this campaign is about reaching out to people who don't follow politics or environmental news (but do care about democracy, the planet and pollution).


Need proof that I can pull this off?

Below is a photo of me from November 2011 when I launched my crowdfunded protest artshow on six outdoor posters in Ottawa—around the corner from the Parliament Buildings. I'm standing in front of my "Stop Blacklisting" poster, and I am holding a freedom to information document that proved the government was not telling the truth! The show was a big hit and attracted lots of media attention. (See my Indiegogo Gallery for related videos)


November 2011 Franke's Protest Artshow in OttawaFranke's Free Expression Coffee Cup


The money raised will buy space...



My protest artshow in Ottawa in 2011 was such a hit, I'm going to do it again! I'm buying space on outdoor street ad posters in Ottawa close to the Parliament Buildings. I'll also post them on my site and other activist sites. Each poster costs $1100 for one month. Visit my site to read about the show in 2011.



[GOAL ACHIEVED: MAY 20/13] The online news site I've picked out to advertise on is just the ticket for Banned on the Hill! Of course because the Harper government likes to meddle, we need to keep the site secret until it's up. Cost: $2600 (See where campaign is running.)



Lots of people still read print magazines, so I'm going to buy space in a Canadian magazine that Harper, and his 'Bureaucats', read (and monitor). Cost: $500 (A print ad ran in the Hill Times in May 2013.)



Book launches and book readings are key to getting the word out. So, I'm going to rent a space to host a Banned on the Hill book event. Cost: $800


[UPDATE JUNE 11/13 See what space the $5000 paid for and what media coverage it got. LINK)


If I double or triple my target—and I sure hope I do—then I can go to other cities in Canada. Buying "space" and giving book talks in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and other major cities. (And make the Harper government wish they'd never tried to censor me.)


What if I hit this right out of the park? WOWZERS! Then I can give talks in U.S. cities like Washington, San Francisco and New York. (And make the Harper government really, really sorry they interfered behind the scenes and warned supporters not to show my art.) The MORE money I raise, the MORE I can do to creatively get my message across.


And if Banned on the Hill becomes a BESTSELLER then that will be the ULTIMATE victory -- because it will help me afford to continue writing and creating visual stories that poke the powers that be -- and hold them accountable.


Front cover Banned on the Hill thumbnailIt's easy and fun to join my Banned on the Hill campaign. You can pre-order the book, Banned on the Hill or buy one of a dozen PERKS. They're affordably priced from $12 -- and go up depending on your commitment and pocketbook! 

SCROLL UP to see the Perk list on the right hand side. Please support my media campaign to get the truth out about Dirty Oil and Government censorship. So everyone knows... 

It's exactly what Harper is afraid of.... Many voices! Speaking up for the environment.


Tell Harper we've had our fill. We will not be Banned on the Hill.


Get the buzz going! Tell people you're a Free Speech defender! Share any of my images on this Indiegogo page on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus. (See media stories  as of May 25/13)


I made "Banned on the Hill" BIG! It's 8 inches x 10 inches so you can really enjoy all the graphics. There are 360 images in the 370 page book. So, once you've read it, you could rip it apart and hang it framed on your walls! Just kiddingbut if you did it would cover over 15 square feetconsidering that you can only show one side of a page! What a bargain for original art!)


Or display it proudly on your coffee table. This is an art-activism book! Inside, there are eight "political-environmental" visual essays, which I've written from 2008 to 2013, including "Games 'Bureaucats Play'" which is sure to delight anyone who's ever filed a Freedom to Information request!


Canadian Embassy secretly warns NGO Nektarina not to exhibit my art

“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

“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)

“‘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

"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!" 

“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


Banned on the Hill - Front and Back Covers


“I thought I lived in a free country where you were allowed—and encouraged— to speak your mind. The government’s secret interference is really shocking, not just for me, but for all Canadians who think differently than our current Prime Minister. In a true democracy multiple points of view are allowed. The government’s insistence on controlling the message—to the point where people are silenced, and blacklisted, is a serious infringement on our rights. That’s why I took my art to the streets of Ottawa. And why I wrote ‘Banned on the Hill’”

Franke James is a Canadian artist, author and activist. Her visual stories, games and videos are focused on the environment, ethics and social justice. 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.

Banned on the Hill is Franke’s third book. 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!)

In response to the Canadian government’s secret interference in her European art show in 2011, Franke filed access to information requests with four federal departments. As of March 2013, she had obtained over 2,000 documents, which confirm that she was blacklisted for “advocating a message that was contrary to the government’s policies”. In November 2011, Franke protested the government’s blacklisting and muzzling of environmental voices by mounting a crowdfunded outdoor art show, in Ottawa. It drew wide media attention.

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. She 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 has a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Victoria, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Mount Allison University. She lives in Toronto, Canada where her favorite mode of transportation is walking. For more information, visit and follow her on Twitter: @frankejames  

Book Banned on the Hill with 3 quotes

Find This Campaign On
raised by 221 people in 1 month
257% funded
No time left
$5,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on June 28, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $12USD
    New! Banned Bookplate Stickers

    You get to choose four Banned on the Hill bookplate stickers by Franke James. Selection includes the No Keystone XL Flag, What is Harper afraid of?, Joe Oliver riding a fish, George Orwell on political language, "Franke James is your fault?" and others... Shipping included

    3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $15USD
    Banned on the Hill ebooks

    You get the graphic, full colour ebook "Banned on the Hill". Over 360 images in this 370 page book. The ebook contains the same content as the print book: 8 visual essays, from 2008 to 2013 including "Games 'Bureaucats' Play!" Available on Apple iPad or Kindle Fire. See the comments from John Bennett, Tzeporah Berman, Bill McKibben, Michael Mann, Elizabeth May, Clayton Ruby, Linda Solomon, and others...

    63 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $25USD
    3 Megaphones on The Hill

    Shout out this from the Hill Top! #1. EBOOK - You get the graphic, full colour "Banned on the Hill" ebook for use on an Apple iPad or Kindle Fire. #2. TATTOO - The Banned Tattoo -- because we know you want to get people talking! #3. TWEET Shout it Loudly! Harper can't muzzle artists, scientists... Or YOU! Your name will be tweeted by artist @Franke James to her 8,000 followers as thanks! Share any of my images here on your Facebook page or on Twitter.

    12 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $25USD
    New! Stickers + Banned Ebook

    You get the graphic, full colour "Banned on the Hill" ebook for use on an Apple iPad or Kindle Fire. Plus your choice of 4 Banned on the Hill bookplate stickers by Franke James featuring No Keystone XL Eagle, Stephen Harper as a dirty oil barrel, Joe Oliver riding a fish, the farting Fat Cat Canada or others... Shipping included

    2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $50USD
    Tarsands Trouble

    Three items: #1. You get the DO NOT TALK ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE poster in 12x18 size. #2. The graphic ebook version of Banned on the Hill (for Kindle Fire and iPad) #3. The Banned Tattoo. (shipping included)

    5 out of 200 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $60USD
    'Banned on the Hill' Book

    Franke James made "Banned on the Hill" BIG so you can really enjoy all the graphics (over 360 images in this 370 page book). The 8x10 print book has 8 visual essays, from 2008 to 2013 including 'Games Bureaucats Play'! See the comments from John Bennett, Tzeporah Berman, Bill McKibben, Michael Mann, Elizabeth May, Clayton Ruby, Linda Solomon, and others... (Shipping included.)

    61 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $150USD
    The Top of the Hill package

    The Top of the Hill package: Dizzying heights!! Look what you get for reaching this pinnacle... #1. Your very own *personalized and signed* copy of "Banned on the Hill" -- the 370-page printed book. #2. The TarSands Parliament Hill Poster #3. You'll also get a temporary tattoo. Wear it everywhere... Get people talking. Price includes shipping.

    14 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2013
  • $200USD
    Chatting with Franke James

    This perk includes 30 minutes chatting with Franke about the environment, social justice, self-publishing or whatever you want. (Skype or phone to be arranged.) Plus your very own personalized and signed copy of "Banned on the Hill" -- the 370-page print book.

    1 out of 2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: July 2013
  • $600USD
    Shout it on the Streets

    This is COOL! You get the real poster that was displayed outdoors in Ottawa for the Banned on the Hill 2013 campaign. (See the design in the gallery.) "DO NOT TALK ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE" is 47" x 68". The street ad poster will be signed by Franke James. Shipped in a big tube to anywhere in North America that FedEx delivers.

    0 out of 2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $600USD
    New! Medium Size Banned Art

    A Limited Edition "Franke James" print. Most of the artwork is from 'Banned on the Hill'. Franke personally supervises, approves and signs each giclee print. They are exhibition quality and printed on archival fine art bamboo paper using archival pigment-based inks. Limited edition run of 50. Size: 21.5? x 15.375?. Includes shipping. Visit to see the selection featured in her new post: "If Walls Could Talk".

    0 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2013
  • $900USD
    Banned Art for Your Wall

    A Limited Edition "Franke James" print from 'Banned on the Hill'. You'll be choosing from a selection of original illustrations from the book. Franke personally supervises, approves and signs each print. They are exhibition quality and printed on archival fine art bamboo paper using archival pigment-based inks. Limited edition run of 50. Size: 34" x 24". Includes shipping. See some of the art prints:

    1 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2013

    Franke Speaks at Your Event

    Want to have Franke speak at your event and give a Six Tools for Climate Change Art Workshop? Buy this perk, and she'll present to your organization or school. The timing is flexible. Bonus: Franke will also do a blog post about the event -- so get ready to shine the spotlight on your organization. Extra costs: You'll need to pay for her transportation and travel costs. If you have questions, please email Franke at (See past speaking events on

    1 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $25,000USD
    Franke Tells Your Story

    Awesome! This is your chance to have Franke write a visual essay for your environmental, health or social justice cause -- in her unique and personal style. See the story "Who cares about the Forest?" which Franke created for the Forest Stewardship Council in 2011. It was translated into Swedish in 2012. Any questions about this perk email

    0 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: May 2014
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