Elska, the stunning photo magazine committed to spotlighting the bodies and voices of queer men around the globe, has just celebrated its sixth year in the business.
With past issues featuring queer men from Dublin, Berlin, Sydney, Toronto, Poland and Malaysia amongst others, the aim of the magazine was always to show “that LGBTQ people exist everywhere, and while the challenges facing these communities vary, we all essentially want the same thing – to love, to be seen, and to be free.”
Liam Campell, the editor and chief photographer of Elska, shared what those early days of the magazine were like; “When I started Elska, all I really was trying to do was to combine two of my favourite hobbies — travel and photography — into a job. I just grabbed my camera, hopped on a plane, and tried to find some local guys to shoot while hanging out in their city for a few days.
“Everyone I met I found interesting and gorgeous, but then after I published the results in what became the first issue, Elska Lviv (Ukraine), I learned that others didn’t share my perspective. Some said that the men I featured were boring, not special or even ugly!
“I tried to console myself by seeing their complaints as based on being conditioned by mainstream media, which has tended to focus on models and celebrities, but soon enough I was consoled by letters and messages from other readers who did share my vision, people who said that they could see themselves in Elska, and that because I reveal those men’s beauty it helps them see the beauty in themselves as well.”
Campbell continued, “Despite those few early haters, there’s been enough love to keep Elska going for six years, and there’s no end in sight yet.”
33 issues later, Elska still continues to feature men “photographed with the point of view that they are beautiful, and then they are presented equally, regardless of how conventional their beauties may be.”
To see the list of stockists, visit the online shop, and discover details of the Elska subscription service, visit www.elskamagazine.com.
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