Liam Campbell’s great concept magazine, Elska, devotes each issue to the “boys and stories” of a single international city. The variety of men and experiences reveals much about each city’s culture. Berlin, Lisbon, Taipei, and Istanbul all have unique aspects and viewpoints, and their gay male citizens often have multicultural backgrounds.
“My preconceived notion of Japan was of an ultra-modern and forward place, but this progressivism did not extend to society,” says editor and founder Liam Campbell. “Even though Elska isn’t completely full of nude images, it was difficult to find people willing to participate due to having nude content at all, due to conservatism. My previous experience in Japan visiting an onsen (hot spring) full of seemingly liberated naked bathers led me to assume it would be a very easy-going place, but when it came to be photographed nude, people closed-up. And being a gay mag didn’t help either — ‘I could lose my job’ was the response of more than a few guys we spoke to. In the end, however, with lots of persistence and hard graft, we did find enough local boys to participate."
Indeed, Yokohama was actually a very multicultural city, more than Campbell and his team had expected before arriving. Inside this issue, beyond the native Japanese men, you'll meet expats from China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and also an American lad (and complete Japanophile) stationed at the nearby Yokosuka U.S Naval Base. Elska Magazine is sold in over 35 retailers worldwide or for order online. In addition to the classic print "bookazine," there is also a tablet/iPad version. Get more details on the Elska website.