Elska Magazine, the gay culture and photography project that travels around the world meeting everyday men from diverse LGBT+ communities releases its latest issue after heading to Mexico to showcase the country’s gayest city – Guadalajara.
AFTER visiting Bogota a year earlier for Elska and noting the openness and daringness of the men there, Elska editor and chief photographer Liam Campbell wanted to return to Latin America, but choosing a city in such a huge region wasn’t easy.
Liam said: “Then we received a passionate letter from a reader in Guadalajara who praised the charms of his city and asked us to come do an issue there. At first I was skeptical, suggesting that Mexico City might be a better option, but our reader asserted that Guadalajara is the true ‘gay capital’ of Mexico, and promised to spread the word to some friends to see if there was interest.
Soon Liam was bombarded by messages from other Guadalajara gays praising their city and asking to take part. He decided that he couldn’t let them down so he booked flights straightaway.
Elska is a project about discovery, about travelling the world and opening the minds and hearts of readers by letting them meet locals. Inside each issue, readers find several chapters, each dedicated to a different man met in the featured city. These men are photographed in a natural and intimate style and they also contribute a personal story, which can be about any topic of their choice.
There’s no celebrity gossip, no fashion editorials, no lifestyle advice – the publication is like a sort of sexy anthropology journal meets little black book.
As only the second issue made in Latin America so far, Elska Guadalajara shares a few key similarities with 2018’s Elska Bogota issue.
Firstly, almost all of the stories are printed twice, with one version in Spanish and one in English, making it a truly bilingual issue. Secondly, there’s a clear lack of shyness, with all but one of the participants choosing to be photographed fully nude as part of their pictorials. It’s a real sign of openness, of being willing to share vulnerability, and of not caring what others might think.
Some of the men featured in Elska Guadalajara include:
• Daniel R, who talks about how he was able to come out of his shell, with a bit of blind bravery and also with a bit of trying to impress a crush;
• Alejandro G, who opens up about the pain being of living in a city whose every corner reminds him of the love who moved away, who waits with hope for the day that they can be reunited;
• Ivan D, who reflects on meeting a straight man who touched his heart with truly unconditional friendship, reminding us of the value of our hetero allies who don’t need to be feared;
• Andres A, who divulges the intimate details of a hook-up with a guy who he thought was out of his league, but with a self-injection of confidence was able to have an unforgettable afternoon.
Elska Guadalajara is 180 pages. It is available in a collectable print ‘bookazine’ or in a downloadable e-version. A companion zine called Elska Ekstra Guadalajara containing out takes, behind the scenes tales, and other bonus content is also available.
For a list of stockists and details of how to order online, click here: