Gay Photography Journal Celebrates an Israeli City. Not the One You Think.

It’s no surprise that Elska, a bi-monthly gay photography journal, trains its lens on Israel’s sexy guys in its latest issue.What is surprising is the city that is featured. Not the obvious choice of Tel Aviv, but rather, Haifa.

Elska Haifa magazine

“Tel Aviv felt too obvious. Everyone knows it’s a super gay place,” editor Liam Campbell writes in his editor’s note. “I chose Haifa because it promised diversity… I wanted Elska’s first entry to the country to be more representative of the country’s multicultural population.”

During Campbell’s two-week trip to Israel, he met a range of local men—lifelong residents and newcomers, Jews and Muslims and Christians—who live all around the city. They’re photographed in their homes, outside in their neighborhoods, or around Haifa, sometimes in various stages of undress—and occasionally entirely nude—in multi-page spreads. But this isn’t an X-rated adventure. It’s about men revealing themselves, and the brief essays the men write to accompany their photos paint a richly textured portrait of a city that Campbell says “is crying out for love.”

Inside Elska Haifa you will meet sixteen local men, each of whom were photographed  throughout the city and/or in their homes. Each of their intimate photospreads is then accompanied by a personal story, helping you get to know them even more, as if you were there in Haifa with us as we met and photographed them. 

Owing to the city’s diversity, the first Israeli Elska features men from various backgrounds – Jews and Arabs, as well as some from the city’s huge post-Soviet communities and beyond. Some of the stories reveal particular struggles, such as an Arab dealing with coming out to a conservative community, a Jew desperate to make it through his compulsory military service, or a new Russian immigrant trying to fit in. These men do reveal some of their pain, but they share their hope as well. It is this hope that we encountered all over Haifa that makes us so proud of this edition.

See the complete article in The Tablet Magazine