Party hats for Big Brother: Utrecht celebrates Orwell’s birthday


Party games! Where’s Waldo? Can you find the hat?


The city of Utrecht celebrated George Orwell‘s 110th birthday on Tuesday, the 25th, with unusual panache, thanks to two guys over at FRONT404, who decorated the surveillance cameras at the city center.  What better way to celebrate the author of ‘1984’, which describes a dystopian future society where the populace is constantly watched by the surveillance state of Big Brother? Kind of like ours. 

utrecht3“By putting these happy party hats on the surveillance cameras, we don’t just celebrate Orwell’s birthday. By making these inconspicuous cameras that we ignore in our daily lives catch the eye again, we also create awareness of how many cameras really watch us nowadays, and that the surveillance state described by Orwell is getting closer and closer to reality,” Thomas voor Hekke and Bas van Oerle wrote on the project’s website.

“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to.” – George Orwell, 1984

See the rest of the photos at Front404 here.  And a hat tip to Jim Erwin for turning me on to this celebration.



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