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Elska Magazine visits its first Latin American country to meet and photograph the men of high-altitude Bogotá. Read more below.
That peripatetic travel magazine, Elska, chooses a different city for each issue. Elska focuses not on the tourist destinations, but the gay and bi men who live there.
The men featured are not celebrities or models but just regular guys who the Elska team happens to meet on their journeys. Each of the subjects has the option to shoot at home or outside, and are dressed in their own style or nude (in the case of Elska Bogota, for whatever reason, it turned out to be the most naked Elska issue yet). The result is a presentation of different types of beauty, all equal and all valid, delivered with sincerity and affection.
"I did a bit of research on LGBT rights, availability of queer spaces, and also just talked to people from the region, and Bogota seemed to come out as the gayest city on the continent," says editor and chief photographer Liam Campbell. "So that's why we decided to make Bogota our first venture into the region, and it really turned out to be a great decision. It's a stunning, modern, cosmopolitan, and safe city full of open and positive people. And more than any other of the fifteen cities we've featured so far, this is the one I'm most keen on coming back to."
Through its intentionally naturalistic style, the photography furthers Elska's intimate feel, relying only on available light, using typical and unadulterated locations, and avoiding excessive editing and airbrushing. The emphasis is on honesty.
Elska Bogota is 168 pages and is available in a classic collectible print version or in a download version. A companion e-zine called Elska Ekstra Bogota is also available containing outtakes, behind the scenes tales, plus images and stories from a few more men not seen in the main mag. A list of stockists and details of how to order online can be found on the Elska website.