I was very close to choosing Tel Aviv as the location for Issue (04). First of all, it would look drastically different from the past issues (Lviv, Berlin, Reykjavík) and thus provide some well-needed contrast. Secondly, although I’ve been three times, each visit was never for more than twelve hours (my trips to TLV were as a flight attendant and required me to sleep during most of those twelve hours). All I’d seen on these visits was from out of the coach windows and around the hotel (which was unfortunately in the suburbs). I really wanted to go back and see more.
In the end, I didn’t choose Tel Aviv for issue (04)’s location, though I’m not ready to say where I chose just yet. The reason was that I just wasn’t sure how to handle it politically. If I were to do an issue there, I would want to feature a diverse group of Elska boys. While I doubt I’d get an Orthodox Jew to take part in a mag with a mainly gay audience, I would at least need to include both Israeli and Palestinian boys. If I can’t, then I’m simply not doing it or people will automatically assume a political point of view.
But was that feasible? I did a tiny bit of research, contacting a several guys on Planet Romeo with details about Elska and what I wanted to do. Of the six Palestinians I contacted, only one replied, and it was just to ask if I was top or bottom. I would hope that with further time and research I could find someone to take part, but the early signs discouraged me. Plus, on the day after, a fresh intifada was declared.
What are your thoughts on a Tel Aviv issue? Let us know!
To see more of Shir N, pick up Elska Magazine Issue (02) Berlin, available in select shops worldwide or for order online. See www.elskamagazine.com