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At first glance, Hogewey, a small community situated about 20 km outside of Amsterdam looks like any other Dutch town. Residents go about their lives normally, picking up groceries, going to the movies and catching up with friends. But unknown to them, they are leading an orchestrated life, a false reality. There are surveillance cameras everywhere, and residents are watched every hour of the day. From the shopkeeper to the gardener, from the hair stylist to the dentist, every one is part of the deceit.

Hogewey is a nursing home disguised to look like a village. It was designed to house people suffering from severe dementia. Unlike typical nursing homes, where patients live in drab buildings, with long hallways and polished floors, and nothing but the television for company, Hogewey attempts to create a livable society for these helpless people. Inhabitants live in shared houses, they have a theater, grocery stores, a post office, gardens and clubs. Every shopkeeper, every waiter, and every housekeeper is a Hogewey employee playing their part, in Truman Show-style. Hogewey has around 150 residents, and 250 caretakers.

Hogewey’s supermarket. Photo: Hans Erkelens/Flickr


© Amusing Planet, 2020.



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