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Discovering — and telling — stories from around the world.

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Photo by @encolhiaspessoas Some say the world is small. For Renan Viana’s micro characters (@encolhiaspessoas), it’s gigantic. In 2014, the 28-year-old photographer found a box of miniature figures in an antique shop in Belém, Brazil. Renan customized each with paint, glaze and glue then started taking photos of them on wild adventures. “The miniature figures are my companions to discover new places,” he says. “I carry a few around in a little box, and whenever I go out, I set up scenes on my walks. But I plan more specific scenes in advance.” “Taking pictures of such little ‘people’ on the street draws a lot of attention,” says Renan. “Some people pass by without understanding what I’m doing, while others stop and get closer until they realize what’s going on. Once I had to cover a figure with my hand so that it wasn’t crushed. I ended up hurting my hand, but the figure was OK.” Tune in to today’s story to learn more about Renan’s characters and their world.
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Photo by @johnnykeethon “You’re blinded by the pure white layer covering everything in your eyesight,” says Simon Kerola (@johnnykeethon) of walking through a forest of untouched snow in Stockholm. “I always feel that if I keep my eyes open, it would look something like this photograph.” #TheWeekOnInstagram
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Photo by @maomay__ MaoMay (@maomay__) the cat travels the world. “This photo was taken in Paris near the Notre Dame that you can see in background,” says MaoMay’s human, Giulia. “I took millions of pictures, but this one was the funniest since MaoMay was sniffing my phone.” #TheWeekOnInstagram
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Photo by @akamisokatsu A storybook scene in Japan. 🦌 #TheWeekOnInstagram
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Featured photo by @aakashnihalani Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPillusion This weekend, the goal is to take photos and videos that create optical illusions, like this hand-created eye trick from Aakash Nihalani (@aakashnihalani). Here are some tips: Play with scale and move around to find new perspectives within a single frame. For example, photographing a puddle low to the ground can turn it into an ocean. Let props help. A cleverly placed mirror or some sleight-of-hand card tricks can elevate a simple illusion to double take-worthy. Make magic by playing with both artificial and natural light. Use a flashlight to draw the eye toward a specific element of an image or incorporate the setting sun’s long shadows into your illusion. PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPillusion hashtag only to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. If you include music in your video submissions, please only use music to which you own the rights. Any tagged photo or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured next week.
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Video by @kingtutat For more than a decade, Jung SungKap (@kingtutat) has moved and sought inspiration in unexpected places. “I find new ideas the most when looking at kinetic art,” says the 28-year-old from Seoul, South Korea. “After looking at the moves, I think how I could express those with my body.” With a focus on the street dance known as tutting, inspired by drawings of ancient Egyptians, you can find Jung practicing with friends, developing and recording new sequences and sharing his passion by teaching dance classes. Want to see more of @kingtutat’s moves? It’s on our Instagram story now.
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Video of @kidsofimmigrants The first-generation Americans behind the clothing line Kids of Immigrants (@kidsofimmigrants) want to inspire children in their community. “Diversity IS American,” says Weleh Victor Dennis, who co-founded Kids of Immigrants (KOI) with Daniel Buezo. Weleh was born in California; his parents are from Liberia. Daniel is originally from New York; his parents are from Honduras. Sparked by the tradition of street vendors in their immigrant-rich Los Angeles neighborhood, the entrepreneurial duo launched KOI in 2016. “Our main principle since the beginning was to spread love and power to people and spark creativity,” says Daniel. “KOI isn’t a political statement — it’s literally who we are.” Watch our story to learn more about @kidsofimmigrants.
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Video by @leekangbin91 Coffee lovers in Seoul, South Korea, are lucky to have Lee Kang-bin (@leekangbin91) taking orders. The barista and entrepreneur started C. Through Café “to meet new people and share good memories” and is determined to expand the horizons of coffee art with simple ingredients like chocolate sauce, chocolate powder and food dye. “I try to break away from the stereotype that it only looks pretty. It’s the most rewarding feeling when customers say it looks pretty and also tastes good.” Get a closer look at Lee’s creations on our Instagram story.
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Photo by @yparlaungan Beach day bliss captured for #WHPsmile. 🌊
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Photo by @grin_land “Mona Lisa” got a “natural” remix for #WHPsmile. Kateryna Khmylnina (@grin_land), who lives in Sweden, revisited a tree she photographed last fall to create her submission. “I think Da Vinci would like it, since he had such a respect for a nature, and that’s where many artists take inspiration from,” she says.
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Video by @vincebenedict Creative director Ben McDonald (@vincebenedict) found his #WHPsmile inspiration in the pool in Tanzania. “I like the unique beauty of my daughter's breath sneaking out of her nose and mouth in slow-motion bubbles,” says Ben. Follow along to see more of our favorites from last weekend’s hashtag project, #WHPsmile.
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Photo by @leia.staffy Hello, world! Today’s #WeeklyFluff is all about Leia (@leia.staffy), a 7-month-old Staffordshire bull terrier who lives in Sweden. “I would describe Leia as fearless, curious, happy, adventurous and extremely cuddly!” says Leia’s human, Ellie, who teaches children with autism and ADHD, and one day plans to certify Leia as a therapy dog. “Right now, Leia works with me as a school dog,” she says. “She helps the kids stay motivated in school and listens to them when they need to talk.” When she’s not in school, Leia loves romping around in nature. “She LOVES snow,” says Ellie. “She loves to eat, play and run around in it — everything!” Watch our story now to follow along with Leia’s daily adventures. 🐾
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Photo by @elieyobeid Lines and colors camouflage a Parisian woman with a stack of books. #WHPillusion
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Photo by @_yafiqyusman_ Yafiq Yusman (@_yafiqyusman_) gathered a group of friends together to play with scale in Singapore. #WHPillusion
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Photo by @seasunstefunny Blending in with sea and sand for #WHPillusion. 🌊 Follow along to see more of our favorites from last weekend's hashtag project.
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Throughout #BlackHistoryMonth, celebrated during February in the United States and Canada, we’re highlighting next-generation creatives of color who are shaping the future of their communities. Each of the featured accounts was selected by writer, curator and activist Kimberly Drew (@museummammy). “Yoe Apolinario (@yoe.apolinario) invites you into her creative growth and uses her platform to highlight other dance communities around the world,” says Kimberly of the professional dancer who is based in Los Angeles. “I found a video of Yoe dancing alongside SHEstreet (@sheopatra_jones) on [singer] Diana Ross’ Instagram. In the video, they are both in suits and busting out some of the most fly, futuristic dance moves I’ve seen in a long time. While following Yoe’s account, I was exposed to the beauty and strength of Instagram’s dance community. Yoe is fierce, committed and she’s invited us all along for the ride.” Watch our story to see more from Yoe.
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Photo illustration by @icedcarlo Look a little bit closer to see the #WHPillusion in Carlo David’s (@icedcarlo) photo. “My inspiration was growing up in the Philippines listening to Michael Jackson records,” says Carlo, who now lives and works in the Los Angeles area. “Record stores will always remind me of my childhood.”
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Photo by @roodster3 Ten years ago, the idea of owning a Mustang was nothing more than a dream for Rudy Simental (@roodster3). “When I saw the #WHPillusion project, it reminded me of the fact that many years ago my idea of owning this car was an illusion. So I turned my actual car into a model size.”
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Photo by @kademoiselle In the brightly colored alleyways of the south of France, portrait photographer Karolina Kodlubaj (@kademoiselle) made a well-placed mirror the focal point of her #WHPillusion submission. “The difficult part was to get the perfect position for the model and me — and to find an opposite wall of the same color to achieve the complete illusion.” Follow along to see more of our favorites from last weekend’s hashtag project.
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Throughout #BlackHistoryMonth, celebrated during February in the United States and Canada, we’re highlighting next-generation creatives of color who are shaping the future of their communities. Each of the featured accounts was selected by writer, curator and activist Kimberly Drew (@museummammy). “I have to start by saying I want every single thing that they make,” says Kimberly of the Los Angeles-based brand No Sesso (@nosessola), led by designer Pierre Davis. “This desire comes from the fact that I feel like the clothes were made for me, all of me: a black queer woman. As a brand, No Sesso invites us all to feel like we can belong. Italian for ‘no sex or gender,’ I was totally sold when my friend shared their account with me. No Sesso totally shifts how many people think about what fashion can do. I can’t wait to see what they do next.” Watch our story to see more from No Sesso.
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Photo by @hamidrezaamiri_ Sorry snow. You won’t stop these soccer stars in Iran. ⚽ #TheWeekOnInstagram
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Featured video by @shibainu.berry Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPwithlove Love is in the air. 💘 In honor of Valentine’s Day, celebrated around the world on February 14, the goal this weekend is to create photos and videos showing how love inspires you, as in this featured video from @shibainu.berry. Come together to connect with loved ones. (Humans and furry friends alike!) If you can’t be with them IRL, find a creative way to include them with a printed photo, drawing or meaningful memento. Do you show your love with gifts? We want to see the handmade crafts and heart-shaped treats you share this time of year. Capture what you love to do. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, going for a bike ride or starting an impromptu dance party, celebrate the big and small moments with friends, both new and old. Be sure to follow the #WHPwithlove hashtag to see what the community is creating. PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPwithlove hashtag only to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. If you include music in your video submissions, please only use music to which you own the rights. Any tagged photo or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured next week.
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Photo of @alexiahentsch by @gabmendss “I do something in the line between fashion and costume,” explains Alexia Hentsch (@alexiahentsch). The costume designer splits her time between London and Rio de Janeiro, where she was born. For the past two years, she has created custom pieces for Rio’s Carnival celebrations. “I love Carnival. I think it’s difficult not to,” says Alexia. “It’s a celebration of joy, which doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world on such a large scale. The whole country has checked out to go to a party. It’s kind of nuts.” Watch our Instagram story now to see more of Alexia’s Carnival costume creations.
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Photo of @seun_msamazing by @mollychoma Nigerian-American athlete Seun Adigun (@seun_msamazing) and her teammates are making history. They’re the first African bobsled team to qualify for the Winter Olympics. “It feels absolutely amazing,” says Seun, who was born in the U.S. to Nigerian immigrant parents. “It’s surreal on a daily basis.” Seun, the driver on her team of three, found bobsledding through track and field, which she’d competed in at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Years later, after countless hours of training on both dry land and the ice track, she’s taking her bobsled team to compete in #Pyeongchang2018. And once the games are over, Seun, who lives in Houston and just graduated with a degree in chiropractic work, wants to continue working with Olympians. “I plan to open my chiropractic practice along with a high-performance injury prevention and rehabilitation facility for elite-level athletes.” 🇳🇬 The Winter Olympics (@olympics) are taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, February 9-25. Tune in as we spotlight competing athletes from around the world.
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Photo by @chebmoha Twenty-five-year-old Cheb Moha (@chebmoha) was born in Iraq, raised in Libya and Canada, then couch-surfed his way across Europe and the Middle East. He’s settled (for a moment) in the United Arab Emirates. “I have never encountered a place that was boring to me,” says Moha, whose first photos were made with an old film camera and a roll of expired film. “The pictures were really bad,” he admits. But he’d found a way of connecting with people around the world. “It’s a very intimate thing to ask someone, ‘Can I take your picture?’ It created a lot of friendships, a lot of relationships and opportunities.” From those opportunities, he’s built a career as a stylist, art director and photographer, with his images now hanging on gallery walls at GPP Week, the Dubai-based photo festival organized by @gulfphotoplus. “I’m peeling back the layers of where I am and going beyond the confines of how things are usually seen,” he says. Watch today’s story to see his portraits from across the Middle East.
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Photo by @shp92shp South Korean speed skater Seunghi Park (@shp92shp) has now competed in the Winter Olympics in not just one sport, but two. This year, the former short track skater — who won two gold medals in the 2014 Winter Olympics — is trying her hand at speed skating, competing in distances up to 1,000 meters. “Changing my sport took a lot of effort because the two are very different,” says Seunghi. “But I love the thrill that comes along with the speed.” Seunghi was born in Seoul and lives and trains in Hwaseong-si, a city in northwest South Korea. “The fact that the Olympics are taking place in my home country makes me feel more responsible and proud,” she says. Watch our story to see Seunghi training on the ice. The Winter Olympics (@olympics) are taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, February 9-25. Tune in as we spotlight competing athletes from around the world. #Pyeongchang2018
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Featured photo by @mambo926 Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPtwinning Ever looked up to realize you’re coincidentally wearing the same outfit as your BFF or co-worker? This weekend, the goal is to capture moments of shared likeness that make you smile. Create your own. This assignment is not just for people who look alike. Show us a close-up of matching nail art or the details of a collaborative art project. Observe the natural world. Plants and insects are incredible mimics. Photographing them in their surroundings can bring an added layer of surprise. Be open. Twinning isn’t all about obvious sets; objects and architecture can resemble people and animals. For example, your neighbor’s bush may perfectly mirror your poodle’s haircut. Make sure you’re ready. Moments of twinning may be fleeting. As they say, pics or it didn’t happen! PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPtwinning hashtag only to photos and videos taken over this weekend and only submit your own visuals to the project. If you include music in your video submissions, please only use music to which you own the rights. Any tagged photo or video taken over the weekend is eligible to be featured next week.
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Video by @nifmuhammad Throughout #BlackHistoryMonth, celebrated during February in the United States and Canada, we’re highlighting next-generation creatives of color who are shaping the future of their communities. Each of the featured accounts was selected by writer, curator and activist Kimberly Drew (@museummammy). “Hanif Abdurraqib (@nifmuhammad) is a deeply talented writer and educator, representing as a beacon of hope, dedicated to championing black culture, authenticity and the written word,” says Kimberly of Hanif. “Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, he reps the Midwest in everything that he does, constantly interrogating notions of home in his work. As conversations about gentrification in the US loom large, Hanif is able to bring new, personal perspectives through his poetry. He has a great sense of humor while remaining committed to telling the truth. As an educator, he shared with me that he encourages his students to write about the music that makes them feel most seen, and that sometimes he’ll get essays or poems about [American hip-hop group] Migos. That’s the future I want to live in.” Watch our story to see more from Hanif.
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Photo by @tessledeux Sixteen-year-old Tess Ledeux (@tessledeux) still remembers her first backcountry ski experience in her hometown in the French Alps: “I was following much older friends and decided to drop off a small cliff with them,” says Tess, who was 9 years old at the time. “The result was a broken nose, but it didn’t stop my love of jumps and tricks!” ⛷ Tess is the youngest French athlete representing her country at the Winter Olympics this year in #Pyeongchang2018. “It’s just so cool to see all these athletes from so many different countries and cultures, all reunited by their love for winter sports,” says the slopestyle skier, a sport that combines downhill skiing with terrain park obstacles, like jumps and rails. “After the Olympics, I’ll probably take a short break from skiing. But I’ll soon get back to practicing. I can’t go too long without it!” 🇫🇷 The Winter Olympics (@olympics) are taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, February 9-25. Tune in as we spotlight competing athletes from around the world.
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Photo by @naimagreen Throughout #BlackHistoryMonth, celebrated during February in the United States and Canada, we’re highlighting next-generation creatives of color who are shaping the future of their communities. Each of the featured accounts was selected by writer, curator and activist Kimberly Drew (@museummammy). “Naima Green (@naimagreen) has an incredibly generous mode of image-making,” says Kimberly of the Brooklyn, New York-based artist and educator. “She invites each of her subjects to breathe and imagine. In lush landscapes, subjects in the ‘Jewels from the Hinterland’ series are presented in landscapes often denied to black bodies. Many of the figures in the series are writers, community leaders and other photographers, so in one way she presents beautiful images and in the other she presents the possibility for creative change. Her work is like an encyclopedia of dope black people we’ll study in books one day.” Watch our story to see more from Naima.
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Video by @debachak Bodybuilders and acrobats gather at the famed Muscle Beach in California to show off their strength — as in this video from photographer Deb Achak (@debachak). “Eager to see this particular athlete perform, I asked if I could capture him as he practiced,” says Deb. “He happily obliged.”
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Photo by @jimchanfc “I love how I captured the joy and excitement of a child whose main worry is when the ride is going to end and nothing else,” says Jimmy Chan (@jimchanfc) of his #WHPmoveit submission. “I hope this inspires everyone to get out there and enjoy life as much as possible.”
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Photo by @markomestrovic Marko Mestrovic (@markomestrovic) dove right in at a local underwater rugby team practice. “During warm ups, all the players swim around pretty chaotically,” he describes. “I wanted to get as close into the action as possible.” Follow along to see more of our favorites from last weekend’s hashtag project, #WHPmoveit.
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Photo by @shaistadeen Photographer Shaista Deen (@shaistadeen) is giving the world the role model she wanted. “Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, I never saw any female hijabi photographers,” says the 22-year-old great-great-granddaughter of Indian immigrants. At age 14, she saved up for her first camera. With a bedroom desk lamp as her studio light and a stack of books as a tripod, she captured what was closest: her friends, her family and herself. “I was very different with regards to the way I saw myself back then,” she remembers. “I was depressed for a period of time as a teenager. Photography was one of the main things that helped me out of that. I was extremely insecure about myself, pessimistic and doubted my abilities a lot. After I was able to get past all of that, I wanted to help others do the same.” Now, she’s a university student (and freelance photographer) living in the UK, but Shaista misses her homeland — and the Caribbean sun. “I love my little island and I’m proud of where I’m from,” she says. Watch today’s story to learn more about Shaista.
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Video by @cshimala Sliding into your feed like 🍕. #WHPmoveit
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Photo by @ibnuwijayakusuma All it took was a couple of friends and a sunny backdrop for Ibnu Wijaya Kusuma (@ibnuwijayakusuma) to create this #WHPmoveit submission.
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Photo by @tobrook “What if dancers would be allowed on a soccer field?” asks photographer Eric Gagnon (@tobrook). “I think we could see some impressive moves!” ⚽️ Follow along to see more of our favorites from last weekend’s hashtag project, #WHPmoveit.
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Photo by @jenniferfuchs Which fluff is the real Leo? 🐶 #WHPtwinning
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Photo by @asenseofhuber When Kyle Huber (@asenseofhuber) bought this tank top months ago, he had a vision of this #WHPtwinning submission. “I’ve worn it often, always waiting for the opportunity that never came,” he writes in his caption. “Earlier this week, while exploring Puerto Rico, we finally brought my imagination into reality at one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever stood on.”
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Photo by @smilewithjeryl A happy coincidence of #WHPtwinning in a Tokyo intersection. Follow along to see more of our favorites from last weekend’s hashtag project.
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Italian model Vittoria Ceretti (@vittoceretti) grew up just a few hours away from Milan, which makes walking the runways at Milan Fashion Week feel all the more special. “Milan makes me feel like I’m home,” says the 19-year-old. “Whenever I come here, I’m most looking forward to seeing my family and walking for the Italian fashion houses. It makes me proud to be representing the Italian flag!” Today, watch our story to spend #MFW with Vittoria, from backstage fittings to the runways.
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Photo by @myparrotlife “Our parrot Tango has a serious case of FOMO,” says Ifrah Shahi (@myparrotlife), who bought a mini bowl so that Tango could enjoy his own cereal. “He always wants to do what we’re doing and eat what we’re eating. When I saw the #WHPtwinning theme, I thought it was the perfect timing to showcase Tango’s copycat behavior.”
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Photo by @sh3ngy Good luck and a strong wind were on Marc Tan Shengyi’s (@sh3ngy) side when he took this accidental #WHPtwinning portrait. “My intention was to photograph the Sydney Opera House only,” he says. “The person with the similar hair in the foreground was a coincidence. It’s not often that people can look like architecture!”
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Photo by @claudiaa619 When #WHPtwinning gets literal. 👯‍♀️ Follow along to see more of our favorites from last weekend’s hashtag project.
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