What is Elska Magazine?
Elska is a bi-monthly male photography, culture and travel publication. Each issue is shot in a different city with local boys and local stories, focusing on authenticity and spontaneity. One article described Elska as "part intellectual queer pin-up mag and part sexy anthropology journal", and another as "probably the nicest, most sincere magazine ever". We quite like that!
The issue I want says "sold out". Will you be reprinting more?
Once an issue is sold out, it's gone and won't be reprinted. Here's how we decide what to reprint and what to retire... We usually print 500-1000 copies of each issue. If they sell out quickly we print more. If not, then we decide to let them retire when those copies do sell out. Our Berlin, Reykjavík and Taipei issues have been our biggest sellers, and we've already reprinted those four times! Our Lviv and Toronto issues didn't do so well though (even though they're excellent) so we let them go out of print. As always, however, you can download e-versions of all our issues.
Who writes the stories?
The guys who we shoot write their own texts. Very occasionally, we do get guys who are uncomfortable with writing, or even some who can't be bothered to do it - in those cases we probably cut them from the edition, or maybe if they're really nice we'll do interviews with them or may write about them.
Some of the stories are in foreign languages! Are these translated somewhere?
We tell the boys to write in whatever language they feel most comfortable in, be it English, French, Icelandic, Russian, whatever! But we always follow non-English texts with an English translation. So if you see something you can't read, turn the page and you'll find the English.
How do you choose the Elska Boys?
In the weeks before shooting, our team basically lives on social media, posting notices on various sites, trawling through the apps, and asking people to spread the word. There's no particular type of guy that we're looking for, except that they must live in the city we're featuring.
Can I be an Elska Boy?
Sure, it never hurts to write in and ask. We may just come and do an issue in your city.
How do you decide which locations to feature for the Elska editions?
There's a lot of factors behind our choices. One is the cost - we'd love to do Buenos Aires or Melbourne, but flight costs can be high, so it's not always viable for an independent publication like Elska. Another factor is an attempt to show variety - for example, we might try to follow an edition shot in a grey post-communist East European city with one in a colourful, palm-treed Mediterranean city, and then with one shot in a chaotic Asian metropolis. Also, if we get a lot of requests to come to a particular place, we consider it - this was the case for our Berlin, Istanbul, and Mumbai editions.
Where can I buy Elska?
Elska is sold in several cities around the world. Check the Stockists page for the most updated list. If it's not available near you, then do order online - we promise to get it to you as soon as we can.
How long does shipping take?
The short answer is "about a week". The long answer is that it depends where you live and what you order. Elska is shipped from Berlin and is sent by standard Deutsche Post airmail. However, if your order weighs over 2kg (that's five or more editions), it will be sent by Fedex, which is super fast.
Is my order trackable?
Since we use standard postal services, orders are non-trackable, unless your order is over 2kg (see previous question 'how long does shipping take?' Unfortunately, because postage makes up around 40% of the cost of each mag (depending on your destination), trackable services are not feasible.
What is Elska Ekstra and why don't you spell it 'extra'?
Elska Ekstra are e-zines that feature outtakes, behind the scenes images, extra stories and extra boys the making of our flagship Elska editions. They're meant to be read as a companion to the main editions and can be bought separately or are included free with a Deluxe Annual Subscription. As for the spelling, there's no reason - we just think it looks cool.
How can we support you?
Elska is an independent artist-led publication so your support is necessary to keep it going. You can help by buying our editions, art prints, and other stuff. And you can also support us on Patreon at www.patreon.com/elskamagazine.
What does 'elska' mean? Does it stand for something?
'Elska' is not an acronym. It means 'love' in Icelandic in the verb form, as in 'I love Berlin' ['ég elska Berlin'].
What are the Elska Collectors' Postcards?
Elska Collectors' Postcards are collectible postcard-sized prints, each containing an image of an Elska boy. One card is randomly inserted in every edition of Elska. You can also buy limited edition 21-piece sets containing all our cards.
What is the Elska Mixtape shown on the last page of every edition?
Music has always been really important to me. It helps keep me motivated, helps keep my mood up, and helps get me up in the morning. For every Elska city, I create a mixtape which I listen to over and over when commuting between shoots and while editing the images and laying out the publications. I also use one line from the lyrics of each song to give titles to each chapter of the editions. Finally, on the last page of the Elska editions, I share the mixtape with readers by printing a tracklisting and a Spotify QR code so you can listen to it as well.