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Five years, hundreds of guys, and thousands or miles traveled. Read the story below.
Elska Magazine celebrates its five year anniversary this month. Since its inception, Elska has become known for its showcasing of real queer bodies and real queer stories from around the world, and for honoring diversity of all kinds through its combination of intimate photography and honest storytelling.
So far Elska has published 29 issues, each focused on a different city and its LGBTQ community. This has included some ‘big gay cities’ like Berlin, London, and Amsterdam, as well as lesser-known or less visible communities like Dhaka (Bangladesh), Istanbul (Turkey), and Manila (Philippines). The variety of places that Elska is dedicated to focusing on forms part of its mission to reveal how different types of bodies and stories are equally beautiful and compelling. Unlike much of traditional media that privileges only certain types of people, you’re unlikely to see celebrities or models on its pages, nor will you receive fashion advice, dating tips, reviews or gossip, because Elska believes that ordinary lives are just as worthy of our attention.
Although COVID-19 has made 2020 a challenging year for Elska as well as for all independent queer media, due to some advance pre-COVID shooting, the previous issues this year and the next one were all made before the crisis began. Going forward, while heeding travel restrictions and health advice, the hope is that the coming year will include issues made in Australia, Europe, South America, and beyond.
Elska is sold in select shops around the world and is also available for order online. Its flagship product is its print magazine, a format that allows one to really spend time with each of the men featured inside, beautifully made and collectible like an art book. In addition to the classic print mag, there is also a downloadable e-version and a range of behind-the-scenes companion zines called Elska Ekstra. A list of stockists and details of the subscription service can be found on the Elska website, elskamagazine.com.
This story originally appeared on Advocate.com.