Ok, it’s time to shake your DIK! While we are still working on the special 8th issue, we would like to invite you here. So get ready for hot materials, unique interviews and other exclusive content. Visit us often and check out what’s going on!
We are starting with an interview by Stefan Ingvarsson with infamous Karl Andersson:
SI: Hi Karl, could you tell DIK a bit about your new book?
KA: It’s a book about my magazine Destroyer and the reactions it caused, especially in the LGBT community.
SI: What kind of reactions are you thinking about?
KA: Many homosexuals, including the national LGBT org in Sweden, denounced the magazine as „filth” and „distasteful”, words that were often used by homophobes against homosexuality. The magazine was also banned from certain LGBT venues in Stockholm, and reported to the police.
SI: What were the arguments?
KA: Destroyer contained many photos of boys and young men. Those who reported me to the police obviously considered that child pornography. As for the gay men who spoke out against Destroyer, many argued that the magazine gave gay people a bad name by implying they be sexually attracted to teenagers. That’s why I was dubbed „gay men’s worst friend” in the media.
SI: But what seems to be the problem with teenagers in erotic, but not altogether nude, pictures? Isn’t that what most fashion photopraphy is about?
KA: The teenage models in fashion photography are usually female. If they are male, they are still in a straight context. Destroyer provided an explicitly homosexual context. I think that was the biggest provocation, and if so, it shows that part of the criticism against the magazine was based on homophobia.
SI: What do you mean? Could you explain more?
KA: For example, many of the pictures I published in Destroyer were of the type that you can find in teen magazines like Bravo. But there, the viewer was a teenage girl, meaning a heterosexual context, which doesn’t cause any alarm. In Destroyer, the viewer was a man. Homosexual men watching a teenage boys has always frightened society, and the reason seems to be that it threatens its offspring. Such fear is of course homophobic. Do you get me now?
SI: Sure, but weren’t some of the images bordering child pornography?
KA: I wouldn’t say so. Yes, someone reported me to the police, but the police just shook their heads when they saw the magazine. They couldn’t understand why anyone would report such images. Of course, now we’re talking sexual images, showing erections, not the Bravo or fashion kind which we were discussing.
SI: And this was in Prague, right? Do you feel a diffrence in attitude towards these issues in Sweden or Germany compared to The Chech Republic were the magazine is printed?
KA: Yes, it was in Prague. The difference was mainly that they were totally unaware of the rhetorics that is so prevalent in Sweden, about „sexualizing children”. Of course, that’s a moral rather than judicial rhetorics, so it has nothing to do in the judicial system.
Otherwise, the biggest difference seems to be between Sweden and the rest of Europe. For example, I never got a reseller in Sweden, whereas in Germany Destroyer is sold in all the biggest gay bookshops. There’s a nervousness in Sweden around these issues, and people are very anxious to say the right thing.
But all in all, I would say that the whole West is „Sweden light” in these issues. It will probably become worse.
SI: Why do you think so? And is the so called East really different?
KA: This is complicated. But there is a connection between women’s rights, gay rights, and youth protection. Sweden has been a forerunner when it comes to law change in these areas, and the rest of Europe is now catching up.
From women’s rights and gay rights follow the kind of awareness of youth protection that has made Swedes so nervous regarding „children” and „sexualization” lately. As I see it, this awareness will probably spread to the rest of Europe, as our laws on gay rights do so.
So no, the so called East isn’t really different. They are just catching up. As soon as there are no other major issues to deal with, like economic and social stability, the focus will shift to these „luxury issues”. It might take a while, but as I see it, the way of the former Eastern Bloc countries is traced: First will come gay rights, then will come hysteria about „children”.
All spreads are from Destroyer 10 (the last issue)