September 8, 2014

What's Up With Those Middle East Edition Businessweek Covers?

BW storm

I don’t know, looking at these covers (the first three, from about every other edition the last three months) they seem unusually inflamed. Now I know what you’re going to say: as the region has been racked by violence, it makes sense that it would find a way to surface — even if expressing less volatile subject matter. Sure maybe, considering the most recent issue (9/1) actually has to do with the property market in the UAE (under that sand storm) having fully bounced back from the crash six years ago.

BW cyber attacks

The example before that, 8/4, has what looks like a bloody stain, or a gunshot wound on top of what could also be read as an unearthly-looking regional map from space.

BW cupcake

This cover, from 7/21 — on the rise of female entrepreneurs — has a woman’s fist demolishing an endearment. (I don’t know if this force is consistent with either empowerment in the region or feminist treads there.)

BW road deaths

Finally, the cover from 4/16 addresses a radical plan for the elimination of road deaths in Dubai. I’m wondering, are road deaths such a critical problem there? (Maybe so.) Doesn’t the photo-illustration also look like a gunshot, however, or (again) like some kind of shattered map or black hole? In agreeing that chaos is oozing everywhere, though, could the fact these images emanate from a Western publisher play a role at all?

(cover illustrations: Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, Middle East edition. Art Director: Steven Castelluccia)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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