Elska Magazine, a bi-monthly gay photography and culture publication, has travelled to Perth, Australia to shoot its latest issue. Inside, readers are introduced to a diverse range of men from the local gay/queer community, each presented through individual chapters that contain an intimate photospread and a personal story. The goal is to let readers feel like they’ve travelled to Perth themselves, met a range of local guys, and started to really get to know them and their city.
“Since Elska started almost three years ago, we had lots of requests to come to Australia. So after sixteen issues in sixteen cities, we knew it was time to finally head Down Under” says Elska editor and chief photographer Liam Campbell. “We asked for feedback from readers on which city to choose, which resulted in lots of votes for Sydney and Melbourne, as well as comments saying ‘anywhere except Perth’! They described west coast capital as ‘the most boring city in the world’, but this attitude only made us want to choose it more, to see if we could prove them wrong. In the end, we were never bored by Perth. That’s why we did more shoots here than for any other Elska city and why this issue is our biggest yet.”
Contributing to the mission of Elska to let readers see the men and their personalities as they truly are, the photography style is natural and un-airbrushed. They dress to their own clothes, giving a peek at their personal style and at culture through fashion; and many of the men also are shot nude, bearing all with pride. Elska isn’t about ‘perfect‘ models or celebrities – rather it’s about showcasing a sample of guys you might meet at a local bar or café – though that isn’t to say that a model or celebrity wouldn’t be welcome. Everybody is welcome! And indeed there is one celebrity in the Perth issue, but his fame is not emphasised. All the men in Elska are equal, all compelling, and all beautiful in their different types of ways.
The stories written by each of the men give additional insight into the local culture, and in Perth the texts reveal what life here is like. Liam adds, „I think that if Perth is to have a reputation for anything, it shouldn’t be dullness but rather joyousness. I never have been anywhere with so many happy people around. That’s why this is our first issue to have someone actually smiling on the cover and why so many of the stories are about leisure, love, and lust.”. Whether it’s Owey Y’s account of a nude beach encounter, Dan G’s chronology of a debauched weekend, or Martin A’s ode to Aussie men entitled “Man Flesh”, these stories prove that Perth is not dullsville. But certainly sex isn’t the only thing up for discussion. Also included are Aaron A’s story about moving on after suffering a stroke, Jordan G’s discussion on the trials of dating as a trans man, or Pär-Johan G-R’s musings about differences between Australia and his native Sweden.
Elska Perth is 176 pages. It is available in a classic collectible print version or in a download e-version. A companion e-zine called Elska Ekstra Perth is also available containing outtakes and behind the scenes tales, plus images and stories from five more men not featured in the main mag. A list of stockists and details of how to order online can be found on the Elska website: www.elskamagazine.com.