This edition was made in Athens, Greece. An ancient city full of iconic sites, history, and tradition comes accompanied by a certain about of traditionalism that makes it not so easy to be gay and open here. Those who think of Greece as a hedonistic queer paradise are probably confusing it with holidays on islands like Mykonos and the antics of tourists. But for a local living in the Greek capital, things can be rather more conservative.
For the Elska team this meant that this was one of the more difficult locations to find participants, or rather many people we approached tended to have a lot of worries about what they should reveal and who might see them here. Yet despite the anxiety, something quite magical happened when we actually conducted our photoshoots — our elskans [‘subjects’] seemed to almost universally let go once actually in front of the Elska camera. These men were so much more vulnerable and honest than we expected, it’s quite a triumph!
Inside ‘Elska Athens’ you’ll meet eleven local Athenian lads. Each was photographed in their homes and in their neighbourhoods (and also amongst some of the ancient ruins that they were so proud to show us), dressed in their own style and sometimes not dressed at all. Each of the men also wrote their own story, something true and honest from their lives to help you get to know them at an even more intimate level. Some of the men you’ll meet include:
Vasilis K, who spins a tale from his adolescence but changes the setting to ancient Greece, discussing how sometimes even those who support us the most can’t always accept every aspect of our queer selves;
Manos M, who recalls a closeted man he met at a beach, with whom he spent an incredible evening… and what happened when they found each other again many years later;
Andreas G, who describes how it feels for an artist when they lose their most valuable tool — inspiration;
Yuri K, who shares his own experience of the rather universal queer story of needing to leave one’s home town in order to flourish… and how the result is not always as satisfying as the lore;
Nickolas F, who reveals how he made a decision early in his youth to stop caring what others think, to stop worrying about norms, and to just live his truth to the fullest
‘Elska Athens’ features ten chapters, dedicated to the following local participants: Vasilis K, Nickolas F, Andreas G, Manos M, Basilio S, Yuri K (feat. Cozi G and Rosa Luxemburg), Dimitris P, Konstantinos H, Harry A, and Antonis T