Moving to… The WhiteCityBoy Blog

Posted by nov 6 2012

Tel Aviv – or New York of the Middle East, as many calls it – always was and will be the island of those who just want to be themselves, with no compromise whatsoever. That’s why I decided to give a break to this blog, and start to work on… something bigger!

I wanted to introduce the „it place“ for people who believe in it that trend is not purely a manifestation of superficiality, but also an amazing way to make a point. In this urban village of white Bauhaus buildings, shiny skyscrapers beauty is not an other object to sell. It’s more of a a conceptual tool to connect us to each other and to ourselves.

The White City is great for shopping, but of course – just as in all the greatest shopping hot spots of the world – the exciting treasures are hidden from the high street surfers and shopping mall addicts. Everyone knows about the Dizengoff Square’s colorful fountain or the Clock Tower of romantic Old Jaffa. But if you’re here to experience  the real deal, here you’ll always find the top secrets of the insider’s manual, how turn Tel Aviv on!

My new pop cult blog, White City Boy’s mission is to find the most fashionable diamonds in the rough in Israel. Join me on Facebook to find out more, and thank’s for sticking with me since 2009. In print you can read me monthly in the Time Out Israel magazine’s LGBTQ column.

Enjoy, and stay gorgeous!

5,257 responses so far

Art VS Porn – Israel’s gay magazine breaks all taboos

Posted by okt 10 2012

Revolutionarry, übercool, and cutting edge in many ways: that’s all what it’s takek to describe Israel’s underground gay magazine. After all not so many publisher can allow itself to promote raw, un-manipulated beauty on controversial photos, exposing naked bodies of every kind of Israeli men. Boys, bears, queens and gym bunnies are all happy to strike a pose in front of Dror Amsallem’s camera – the man behind the Bayad phenomenon.

The Bayad magazine is on the fine line of art and pornography, yet you get to sell it in museums, fancy bookstores and cinematic festivals. How did you convince everyone that naked boys and erotic novels are more on the “art” side?

Most people would probably say that art start’s to become porn when it comes to a hard penis. What I think is that it doesn’t matter if it’s erecting or not, what counts is the concept, and what the picture represents from a social point of view. We also present illustrations, poems, and interviews and all this is what pulls it more to the art side.

Israel has a history of gay magazines blossoming for a few years, and closing down. What will make Bayad’s story different?

First of all what makes it different is that it’s by me. More over: as we come out four times a year, we constantly available for our readers at the Bayad blog and the social networks. We’ll survive.

Who would you say is a typical reader of yours? Where do you get your subscribers from?

As most of our models are Israelis, our subscribers are usually men who are really into our kind of beauty. Bayad is a great way to understand and read the gay community of Tel Aviv and because of this I’d say our readers are everyone, who just love Israeli men.

I know you are celebrating every issue with a big party, and you often have a specific. How does the crowd react to the non-conventional party settings?

People are crazy about it, our parties are always very popular and as they are open for the public, they are often talked about in the city the night after… or a few nights after. The host of the event usually dresses up in rather unusual outfits: last time it was a thorn hospital gown with opened back. He had a white mask on and he was going around the bar, sharing giveaways our guests.

Who are these guys who appear in the magazine? Clearly not professional models.

Almost never. The main concept of Bayad magazine is to present regular people as they are. We don’t need them to go to the gym, remove their hair, and we don’t use airbrush. We want guys on the pictures who everyone can identify with. Boys, who could walk in front of you on the street.

You seem to promote “down to earth” beauty over manipulated and perfectionist beauty. Is this a mission of yours?

I’m working as a graphic designer, often for clients from the fashion industry and when people ask me to do everything “prettier” than the reality, I do it, but I don’t agree with it. I personally think being who you really are brings out the beauty of the people, and not photo shop.

How does your family react to your passion and profession? I’m not sure a typical Jewish mum would be happy to show this magazine to the neighbours, saying “look, my son is doing this, I’m so proud”.

They don’t really know about it… and I want to keep it that way.

What is the inspiration behind the Rosh Hashanah-photo shooting? A religious guy, naked, wearing only a yamaka, munching apples on the hills of Jerusalem…

I got a mail from this religious guy, who really wanted to be in the magazine, and I realized he was perfect for the concept. As a Jewish guy I grew up experiencing the holidays every year the very same way, so I thought: why not to show our Mitzva in a different way?

Are you aware of it that you might upset people? Do you like to provoke?

No, I don’t like to provoke. I do what I think will look interesting and beautiful. We are an underground magazine and we don’t try to please people who have “main stream” expectations. And our readers are used to it that we are shameless.

Your short movie about your grandmother’s story in the holocaust is included in the program of a documentary film festival in Berlin. Congrats and tell us about the film.

The film tells the tale of my grandmother and her brother’s childhood in Tunis, living under the Nazi regime during the World War II., interweaving the personal and historical events. We get to know the story from my grandmother’s point of view while her brother was incarcerated and forced to work in the concentration camp of Bizerte. I created it as the final project in my studies and it ended up being presented in some international film fests. It made my granny very happe… and it made me “The Grandson Of The Year”.

Subscribe here, or visit the magazine’s Facebook page. This article of mine was written for Time Out Israel’s September issue, 2012.

 

 

 

1,048 responses so far

Israel <3 Iran – A Facebook revolution for peace

Posted by ápr 21 2012

Just a few days after Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and US President, Barack Obama stated: Iran will have to face the consequences of not cooperating with the United Nations about their atom energy researches, something blew up the internet… and it wasn’t a bomb. Thanks to a new Facebook movement now the whole world can see how true it is when the “citizens of the Middle East” say: the conflict is not between people… it’s between governments. My piece for The Wild magazine…

Israel Loves Iran social media group was formed by a handful of brave girls and guys who were smart enough to see the bigger picture: if Facebook could start a revolution in Egypt, why couldn’t it stop the III. World War even before it could start? Almost 50. 000 freedom fighter joined the start up in just a few weeks to show their support, and while many of us can upload our photos covered with love hearts and inspiring sentences, the people of Iran has to hide their faces and names while joining the group. Supporting peace is not something Iran’s political leaders would watch arms folded…

“To the Iranian people, to all the fathers, mothers, children, brothers and sisters! For there to be a war between us, first we must be afraid of each other, we must hate. I’m not afraid of you, I don’t hate you. I don t even know you. No Iranian ever did me no harm. I never even met an Iranian…Just one in Paris in a museum. Nice dude. I see sometime here, on the TV, an Iranian. He is talking about war. I’m sure he does not represent all the people of Iran. If you see someone on your TV talking about bombing you …be sure he does not represent all of us. I’m not an official representative of my country. I know the streets of my town, I talk with my neighbors, my family, my students, my friends and in the name of all these people …we love you. We mean you no harm. On the contrary, we want to meet, have some coffee and talk about sports. To all those who feel the same, share this message and help it reach the Iranian people.” goes the message what over 40. 000 Facebook users shared on their walls in the past two weeks. Visiting the site anyone can learn about the history of friendship between Iran and Israel: King Cyrus, one of the most powerful Persian leaders of all time, was a strong friend to the Jewish people. Following the Babylonian exile of Jews from their homeland, King Cyrus authorized the unprecedented right of Jews to return Jerusalem. “The Iranian and Jewish peoples have over 2,000 years of friendship. Is there any reason this should change? Us Iranians and Israelis are Middle Eastern peoples. We have seen first-hand how social media has transformed this region. Let’s not underestimate the power we hold in our hands! If each of us shares this page with five friends, we can change the relationship between our two nations from the ground up.” Are you up for the challenge?

Peace begins with us and it flourishes when we extend tolerance, unconditionally, to our neighbors. Yehuda Berg, spiritual leader and kabbalah teacher says: “Solutions for peace are never political, philosophical, or militaristic. And violence is merely fighting darkness with more darkness. Solutions must be founded upon spiritual Light and the human soul. Conflict and war among nations begin with friction between individual people. A nation at war is simply the effect of spiritual darkness born of animosity and intolerance among individuals who comprise the nation. As long as brothers or friends can find reason to clash with one another, nations will devise reasons for bloody battle. We’ve been duped into believing that our actions toward others have no impact upon the world at large. Wrong. Not only do interactions between two people contribute to the state of the world, each interaction totally and completely transforms the world. When enough people make the effort to find good in one another, nations will suddenly and miraculously discover ways to achieve a lasting harmony.”

Please join the group. Let’s show that small people have big words to say.

13,046 responses so far