Kuwait, Musings, Writing

Athnain Magazine: A Polished Thought Experiment

Thought Experiments on the Power of the Image

This is perhaps the aspect of Athnain that I enjoyed most of all–the richness, creativity, and the communicating quality of the images. Truly stellar work on the part of the photography and design team. The fashion editorials were super strong and had a real kick to them. They spoke to the various themes and narratives (like ‘Soul Sisters’ and ‘Sizzle My Skittle’) in a way that was meaningful yet subtle. My favorite images were those that were used in the Fashion Profiles of Kuwait’s various fashionable personalities. I like how they tried to (I think) express aspects of the individuals persona in ways which words perhaps couldn’t do. The concepts seemed sort of imaginary and other worldly, but I think they were trying to translate the inner representations of these people as opposed to the outer. It’s a very new take on the use of photography in Kuwait’s magazine market and it definitely gives you an insight on how great photographs can lift meaning off the page.


6 thoughts on “Athnain Magazine: A Polished Thought Experiment

  1. Really enjoyed your honest review of the magazine. I initially had the same feeling about the magazine and was caught up in an imaginary hype. The instagram posts revolving around the launch and cover girl looked so promising. My first thought had slowly faded after being published as not many reviews or mentions of contents were made. It is now clear to me that it holds no proper substance. Like you said, a magazines beef is in the writing. I’m sure the people are lovely and their ideas are new and transending. Looking forward to future issues……..out of curiosity.

    1. First of all: thank you for the comment and SO SORRY it took me this long to reply.

      I really think that Athnain has a lot of things going for it and that, if it just invests more time in written content, it could be a showstopper and a vehicle for real, cultural change. I honestly believe that.

      I also really commend their efforts and their daring attitude towards presenting something so different to the public and something which caters to a different voice and an unheard (but existing) demographic.

      The review was in no way meant to dissuade anyone from buying the magazine or meant to make Athnain seem completely meaningless. Clearly I see room for great potential and the magazine has its good aspects, I just wished that they gave those things value and significance instead of merely glossing over them momentarily.

      Thanks again for the great comment!

  2. Thanks for the great honest review! I also had some doubt about it when I saw nobody talked about it very much after the release of the magazine … U made me interested to see it and see what is so different about it … I like that they are trying to be unique but as u said without enough proper articles n stuff like that a magazine will not have much meaning… Thank u again for the review!! I will maybe buy it but i will keep ur critic in mind

    1. And thank you for the well-thought comment!

      Well, like I said in the comment above, I wasn’t trying to dissuade anyone from buying it. Really, I was just trying to give an overview of the magazine’s strengths and weaknesses because I think that this is a magazine which a lot of people don’t know how to approach because it really is, in many ways, so different from any other magazine in Kuwait’s current market.

      That’s why I thought this whole review of Athnain specifically (as opposed to any other magazine or Kuwait’s general magazine industry) was important.

      I hope you do buy the magazine and come back to tell me what your own personal take-away was!

  3. i brought the magazine and i really see wat ur talkin about …. i also felt like it was bit empty & needed more meaning in the words..

    Ur right the pictures are very nice & beautiful & i feel like they have a strong msg about men & women & different personalities can be both (dont know if that sounded right ;Pp)

    am going to buy the next issue cuz i see potential as u said but if the next one is like the 1st then i will not buy more….

    Thank u for the great post as always !! xx

    1. I see what you’re trying to say, and I agree.

      I personally LOVED the way they tried to re-configure gender dynamics and invert what it means to be either a man or a woman. The reality is that things like ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ are made-up, entirely arbitrary premises which can have no bearing on a person’s actual identity or the way they choose to carry themselves, whether a man or a woman.

      I really loved the fact that they were willing to take that daring step to open up room for those different interpretations of male and female identity and how, really, the only ‘rule’ is there are no rules.

      And, yes, the pictures were very rich and divine.

      I’m going to buy the next issue too, and I’m hoping for the best inshallah. I really hope they do up their writing game for the sake of these other lofty and important aspirations. Because the reality is that without any solid writing base they can’t possibly hope to make any meaningful, lasting impression AND I REALLY REALLY WANT THEM TO.

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