This year, the 11th annual Robert Bateman Lecturer is Ms. Franke James. Franke is an amazing activist, artist and writer who has recently settled in southwestern British Columbia and will be speaking at Royal Roads University on 11 August at 7 pm in the Learning and Innovation Centre's Centre for for Dialogue. The title of her talk is Portrait of an Artist as an Environmental Truth-Teller.
When Franke James wrote to Prime Minister Harper in 2008 telling him that Canada should ‘make polluters pay’, she never imagined the political storm it would cause -- and suck her into.
Royal Roads University is pleased to welcome “blacklisted” artist, environmental activist and award-winning author Franke James as its 11th Robert Bateman Lecturer, August 11, 2015.
James, author of Banned on the Hill: A True Story about Dirty Oil and Government Censorship, will be speaking about her lively battle for free expression -- and how it led to her putting her iconic “Do Not Talk about Climate Change” artwork on bus shelters in Ottawa, Calgary, Halifax and even Washington, DC. She'll also talk about how she helped persuade over 8,000 people to follow her lead and write to the prime minister to protest the Northern Gateway Pipeline.
James’ lively and challenging work as an artist and communicator “advocating a message that was contrary to government’s policies on the subject” led to her winning this year’s inaugural PEN Canada / Ken Filkow Prize, a prize to be awarded annually to an individual or institution in Canada who has demonstrated courage and integrity in freeing information and ideas from restraint or interference. James has also been awarded the Liberty Award for Excellence in the Arts, by the BC Civil Liberties Association, noting her focus on environmental and social justice, and her fight for free expression as a few of the reasons they named her recipient.
"Franke James is hopelessly naïve and incurably optimistic,” says journalist and author Richard Littlemore in his Foreword for James’ book, “Banned on the Hill: a True Story about Dirty Oil and Government Censorship”. “Seriously, in an age when so many people trudge through life like death camp guards, blithely accepting that politicians are corrupt, that climate change is inevitable, and that their best recourse is to go along for the ride, Franke James can’t contain the urge, when she sees something wrong, to stand up and shout “That’s not right!””
In light of the dropped federal election writ, her lecture is timely and relevant and is sure to provoke and possibly inspire others to action. The public is welcome to attend.
What: The 11th Annual Robert Bateman Lecture
Who: Award-winning artist, environmental activist and author Franke James
When: August 11, 2015, 7 – 9 pm
Where: Centre for Dialogue, Learning and Innovation Centre, Royal Roads University campus
Notes: Open to the public
Royal Roads University annually celebrates Robert Bateman’s legacy of environmental practice, communication and education through this lecture series. Learn more about the Robert Bateman Foundation.