The Red Issue —

Features such as ’10 Sexy Redheads from the East’ –featuring as many porn stars and ‘sexperts’ as models- are exactly the kind of ironic and inappropriate stuff that proves that laddish lout readers – and contributors- are hardly a phenomenon confined to a single culture.

But, in the same ‘Red’ issue of B East, we can also find an article on Alina Lebedeva, the Latvian woman famous for slapping Prince Charles and other acts of political protest. Presented as it may be in the somewhat off-hand style that we now associate with Russian populist television, this article nonetheless highlights the more serious side of B East (don’t worry, you’re not stupid if you don’t see it that easily) in which the political and ideological residues of two systems of economy remain an important influence in the societies from which it arises. Thinking of the famous Holger Czurkay overstatement of the obvious – ‘The East is Red’- this issue offers some highly intelligent commentary and subtle examples that question the simplicity of eradicating a strong Marxist culture simply by shifting the official state systems of economy. Culture and mentality, as the Red issue reminds us, go deeper than bureaucracy and systems of regulation.

Ja’bagh Kaghado’s ‘Red October’ story is quite simply delightful for operating as both a fashion shoot and political satire simultaneously.

    The Red Issue –
    June 2010 118 Pages 0 Minutes of audio 0 Minutes of video
    In This Issue –
    Red Light Amsterdam is Dead Red Light East Europe Red Romania Red Nation Red Commies Red October St Petersburg Red Line Red Chemical Passion
    Editor In Chief –
    Vijai Maheshwari
    Associate Director –
    Paul Barbera and Joel Alas
    Art Director –
    Martin Svoboda
    BEAST - The Red Issue  BEAST - The Red Issue  BEAST - The Red Issue  BEAST - The Red Issue  BEAST - The Red Issue  The Red Issue  BEAST - The Red Issue

Our Take —

B East is, indeed, a strange beast. Published in the Czech Republic with an Indian ex-pat Editor, it claims itself to be about ‘fashion, culture and attitude for the New Europe’. No one could deny that it delivers on that promise. However, what sets B East apart from the other titles trying to evolve a brave new vision for states and cultures once kept snuggly behind and iron curtain is humour.

Rather than taking a po-faced high-end approach to its offerings of fashion, music and partying, B East tackles the whole identity of central and eastern Europe with a riotous tongue-in-cheek approach, actively embracing the clichés and stereotypes of the regions. This does not mean that it does so without creativity and skill. On the contrary, producing an English language publication that intrinsically relies on Ostalgia would become a boring one-line joke if it wasn’t handled correctly. The smartness of B East is that it still manages to find enough connection with the outside world, insider information on new hot spots of creativity in its beloved eastern regions and inventive ways of reinventing the central tenets of its concept to keep it fresh and funny. Simultaneously, it also provides a fascinating snapshot of cultures in transition and very useful info for anyone planning to visit.

Those of a delicate position or who prefer bijou fashion will probably be mortified at some of the ways in which B East unravels its politically incorrect discourses on life in the Used S.S.R. The rest, will love it.

Categories –
Culture Fashion Lifestyle

Website –