Elska, Issue 42 – Almaty, Kazakhstan
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Elska is a bi-monthly male photography and culture art-zine on 130 pages of beautifully stroke-able matte paper. Each issue is shot in a different city with men from that city, including not only their photographs but their stories too. It’s a sort of cross between a quasi-intellectual queer pin-up and a sort of sexy anthropology journal.
In this issue:
This issue was made in Almaty, the largest city in Kazakhstan and a burgeoning centre of LGBTQ culture in Central Asia. This is the sort of place that we expect the bulk of our readership to know little about, and before coming here we were also rather in the dark. Apart from vague notions of what a former Soviet republic would look like (even though it’s been over thirty years since the USSR dissolved), and a few ridiculous images from that certain mustachioed mockumentarian who shall not be named here, we arrived totally green and totally ready for anything. The result is surprising and exciting.
From the group of local boys we met here, through their revealing photoshoots and personal stories, we see that Almaty is a sort of beacon for queer people across the country and from neighbouring countries as well. Whilst homophobia in Kazakh society remains high, the LGBTQ community has been moving further to assert themselves and claim their place. The courage with which these men summoned to bare so much for our Elska project reveals how daring and determined gay Kazakhstanis are. We are absolutely certain that this is an issue you will adore, and also that you’ll be desperate to get on the next flight to Almaty to experience it for yourself.
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