Splice Today “Obama abroad”

Allison sent me this after this article after elections because it was about how the czech media were responding to the election of Obama for president.


The magazines they show get more controversial as the article goes along. The one displayed above has the headline ‘The Black Kennedy’ on the cover. And here is the last one which has the biggest punch to it…

This cover made me want to look up the magazine and find out more about them in order to better understand what angle they are coming from with this since on the site it incited lots of debate about whether it’s racist or not.

Respekt Magazine…


Respekt is a political weekly newspaper and on-line service published in Prague. In its mission statement, Respekt states to believe in freedom of human spirit and the necessity of being open to doubt in an everyday process of fulfiling this freedom. Respekt covers national and international affairs with deep analysis, opinion pieces, and reports.” – from the site

More from Wikipedia

“Respekt was founded very soon after the fall of Communist party from power in 1989 by a group of samizdat journalists as one of the very first independent magazines…

Respekt used its own distinguished visual style that stayed almost unchanged since in 1990. With A3 format (24 or 32 pages) and black & white print it resembled more a daily newspaper than magazine (most of the magazines in the Czech Republic are smaller and printed on glossy paper with heavy use of color and photos).

Front cover drawings by illustrator Pavel Reisenauer very soon became symbol of the weekly. After several years the front page drawings switched from black and white to color. Reisenauer also contributed with drawings on back side and for the articles. All photos were black and white, their number was intentionally kept down. Advertisements were added at the end of 1991 in limited form, compared to other Czech journals.

The changes planned by the new owner in 2006 (glossy paper, use of color, coverage of day-to-day events or consumer advices) were cancelled at the time (see history above). In September 2007 the format has been changed, color replaced the black & white photos and advertisement section was expanded.”


Past Covers…

(the very first edition, from wikipedia)

(“For those who hate Bush”, May 31, 2004)


(“Politics in a Whirlpool”…my translation)

2008, Respekt online Archive

(“The United Losses of America”…my translation…in Czech it is a play on words of “The United States of America” where ‘states’ is replaced by ‘losses’ which sound very similar to each other in Czech)

2008, Respekt online Archive

( “Al-Qaeda – ruler of the world”, July 26, 2004)

wikipedia, Winner of 2004 Cover of the Year award, granted by Czech Union of Publishers.

My Conclusion…

So now that I’ve looked into the magazines history, their cover designs, their current issue headlines I feel that the debate on the original site I find the cover on is ufounded since those people clearly didn’t look any further besides what they associated with the cover. The magazine covers are satires and the issues that are brought up in the illustrations and the articles are controversial…but this is their chosen style and approach. It is done on purpose. Surely there are other magazines, English ones, that draw upon the same kind of approach…that are critical and unafraid to bring out the issues that people don’t like knowing or talking about. I do not agree with the comments regarding to racism and concerning the Obama cover, I think it is no different then their other covers that are all poignant, satirical, comical at times and have a strong visual impact on the reader.

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