Elska Magazine Showcases Pittsburgh’s Diverse Gay Community In Latest Issue
Elska Magazine releases its latest issue, dedicated to Pittsburgh, Penn.
Inside a cross section of local gay, bi, and queer men are introduced, who readers can to get to know through a selection of honest and intimate photography and stories.
Elska Magazine is a project by British photo-artist Liam Campbell. Over the past few years, 26 issues have been published, each made in a different city. For the project Liam travels each locale and invites men from the local LGBTQ community to do a photoshoot and contribute a personal story. A key part of Elska is that anyone is welcome to take part as long as they live in the city being showcased. So regardless of age, race, body type, style or whatever, no applicants are rejected. This results in a publication that is in contrast to most traditional media that tend to privilege models and celebrities. Elska Pittsburgh particularly exemplifies this as the issue is one of the project's most diverse, yet representative of Pittsburgh's own diversity.
"I knew almost nothing about Pittsburgh before arriving," admits Liam Campbell. "However, I chose to come because of some passionate letters from Elska readers that sung the praises of their city, heralding it as one of the most vibrant, up-and-coming, and truly welcoming queer cities in the USA. After seeing it for myself and meeting the 15 guys who took part in the project, I've become another enthusiastic fan of the city and I wonder how long it will be unill Pittsburgh starts getting the national and even global buzz that it deserves."
Each of the Pittsburgh participants did a two-part photoshoot. First they were shot on the city streets, usually in their own neighbourhoods, letting readers get a feel for the landscape and character. Next they were shot in their homes, in their own clothes and often without clothes, allowing each different and uniquely beautiful body to take the spotlight within an authentic and comfortable environment. In addition to the photography, each subject contributed a personal story, bringing the reader even closer. Combined, it makes for a reading experience that's like visiting the city and geeng to know these men and their town directly.
Some of the stories in this issue include Jerome C's humorous look back at serving jail time for vandalism; Jayvon T's adoring account of his polyamorous relationship; Eli A's anecdote of a typical Pittsburgh night out, revealing how welcoming locals can be; Breo S's story about how being expelled from school turned out to be the best things that ever happened to him; Jan-Tosh G's delighjully explicit tale of a weekend orgy; and Christian C's ode to the film Moonlight and what it means to him.
Elska Pittsburgh is 192 pages. It is available in a limited edition collectible print version or in a downloadable e-version. A companion e-zine called Elska Ekstra Pittsburgh containing outtakes, behind the scenes tales, plus images and stories from four men shot for the issue who didn't fit in the main mag is also available. A list of stockists and details of how to order online can be found on the Elska website: elskamagazine.com.