Franke James’ latest initiative named “The Real Poop on Social Change” is gaining a lot of notoriety. Also known for her previous “Do Not Talk About Climate Change” campaign, she continues to be an important force in bringing about the kind of social change Canadians need. “As the curtain closes on my “Real Poop on Social Change”…. here are 10 tips I picked up about change,” says Franke.
10 Things About the Art of Social Change
1. The CBC will happily talk about poop and ponder it’s connection to other larger emissions.
“It’s a big leap though, isn’t it, dog poop to giant job creating emissions and industrial projects, and so on?” Gregor Craigie, CBC The Island
2. I am not a Cockroach after all. I am a Bedbug.
“I think Franke is a bedbug. I think she’s right there biting and scratching and itching and tormenting. And you know, we have to have that if we’re going to make progress with the current government that we have ensconced in Ottawa. We’re not going to make progress unless we have thousands of bedbugs out there agitating all the time for change.”Canada needs lots more bedbugs.
3. Arming Bedbugs with colourful paintbrushes is a really good idea…
“the role of art in fomenting change in our society… is critical.” Dr. Thomas Pedersen, The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions
4. Surprise! Some folks in Ottawa are really grateful to me for speaking up…
“Thank you, Franke, for your art and your activism. Those of us fighting in Parliament against the government’s auditing of environmental groups, its muzzling of federal scientists, its decimation of Canada’s environmental laws have a remarkable and passionate ally in you.”
Murray Rankin, October 9, 2014
5. Government censorship is great fodder for activism and art.
“The government thought that they could silence its citizen. They just chose the wrong one with Franke James.” Carol Linnitt, DeSmog Canada
6. I could be very busy in the next couple of years…
“In a dream world Franke would be teamed up with every single climate scientist across the planet to come up with these types of ways to convey messaging.” Carol Linnitt, DeSmog Canada
7. Pushing for change invites the other side to push back hard, but it’s what you gotta do…
In my speech I talked about what I learned from being blacklisted, and I shared a key piece of advice I got: “Run towards the controversy.”
8. Canadians are listening. If you speak up many of them will support you.
“Across the country we have seen artists censored, activists spied on, and meetings infiltrated, all in the name of silencing Canadians who do not agree with our current resource extraction practices. Taking a peaceful stand for the environment should not make you the target of government scrutiny or repression. These kinds of government activities can chill free speech, they can prevent people from taking part in important public debates, and they can hold us back from making good choices as a nation.“BUT, if you’re Franke James, these kinds of activities can embolden you, they can solidify your commitment to making your message heard, they can even amplify you and make you louder. It’s exactly this kind of response to government censorship and intimidation that we think is so worth celebrating. Franke’s refusal to be silenced calls the rest of us to speak up.”
9. My show in Europe got kiboshed by the Canadian government, but there are lots and lots of exhibition spaces in Canada…
Thank you to The Dock for lending me their walls in Victoria, BC to exhibit my work. It’s been a fun and successful event that got Canadians talking.
10. If we all pull together we can make big, big changes happen.
People across BC are raising money to support First Nations legal challenges against Northern Gateway. My posters are travelling to Vancouver for Forest Ethics’ Pull Together fundraising campaign in November. Send me an email if you want details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading and sharing in my good news. I really appreciate your support ~Franke James.
We’ve gotta “run towards the controversy.” So much of this is about courage. And courage seems to be in short supply in Canada and many other parts of the industrialized world these days. Thank you, Franke, for showing us what courage can look like … and that it can be fun!
Thank you GreenHearted for your comments. Franke and I first met in Chicago in July of 2013. I’ve been an admirer of her climate art since then. Her messages are inspiring and provocative.
Courage indeed! As Rolly has said to me before… “one step forward, and two steps back!”And to use a few more euphemisms, if we can get to “Two steps forward and One step Back,” we will be making some real progress… It is always the same until we reach the “End Game,” when the vast majority finally “Get-On-Board!”