Activists Place Party Hats On Surveillance Cameras For George Orwell’s Birthday

bigbrother2-1024x744By Amanda Froelich

To celebrate author George Orwell’s 110th birthday earlier this year, Dutch artists worked together to decorate surveillance cameras with party hats. The famed author’s classic dystopian novel 1984 warned about a future world where the government was obsessed with surveillance of its people.

bigbrother5-1024x683The Dutch art duo Front 404 – Thomas voor ‘t Hekke and Bas van Oerle – thought that the hats would be a perfect birthday tribute to Orwell.

bigbrother3-679x1024Surveillance cameras in the center of the city of Utrecht were decorated with colorful party hats and then photographed so the pair could post the pictures to their website and share them with the world. This creative form of activism quickly spread, and soon more party balloons and hats were attached to cameras along sidewalks and on street corners by others.

bigbrother6-1024x718According to the artists, “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.”

bigbrother4-711x1024Though this happened on June 25th, so far there have been few repercussions – no sign that the Ministry of Truth has tried to erase their pictures, no visit to Room 101 to re-educate the artists, and no denouncement from Big Brother. Yet.

Comment your thoughts on this inspired activism below, and please share this article.

Amanda Froelich writes for

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3 Comments on "Activists Place Party Hats On Surveillance Cameras For George Orwell’s Birthday"

  1. I’ve been wondering for a long time when people (worldwide and at home) will start taking out these cameras, one by one. A typical city could remove almost all their cameras in just a few hours if even 10% of the citizens participated. The same goes for lic/plate trackers, and things of that nature. This could all be quickly removed. I guess the time isn’t “right” yet, but that time will come….

  2. Things “just happen”, you know !

  3. ‘Ministry of Truth”. LOL! Read it.

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