For its latest edition Elska Magazine, the bi-monthly gay photography and culture publication has traveled to Cape Town in South Africa. It’s a country where homosexuality was legalized in 1996 by the post-apartheid Constitution which was also the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. South Africa was the fifth country in the world, and the first—and, to date, only—in Africa, to legalize same-sex marriage. It, however, is not without its challenges particularly with one of the world’s highest rates of new HIV infection in the country’s rural areas.
“In the beginning, I worried that I wouldn’t like South Africa, that everything would be tainted with racism”, says editor and chief photographer Liam Campbell, “but after fifteen Elska editions, I knew it was time we finally went to Africa. The reality proved that things are not perfect, reiterating that it really wasn’t that long ago that apartheid ended. However, there is a strong mood of hope and an effort to make a society that is fair and righteous. While you can easily see the inequity in the society, you can also sense that people care for each other and want South Africa to be a better place for everyone. More than any place Elska has visited, it’s here that I saw how much we are all different and all the same.”
As usual, the Elska team introduces readers to fifteen local men who were photographed in their homes and throughout their city in a natural, unairbrushed style. Then each photospread is accompanied by a personal story written by each of the men to let you get to them at a most intimate level.
Elska Cape Town is 164 pages and is available in a classic collectible print version or in a download version. A companion e-zine called Elska Ekstra Cape Town is also available containing outtakes, behind the scenes tales, plus images and stories from a few more men not featured in the main mag. A list of stockists and details of how to order online can be found on the Elska website: www.elskamagazine.com