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Discovering — and telling — stories from around the world. Curated by Instagram’s community team.

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It’s been an exciting year for Sejahari Saulter-Villegas (@amaru_ler). The 18-year-old, who travels to NYU this fall to study dramatic writing, was recognized by Chicago’s young playwrights competition, and made his Broadway performance debut after winning a separate competition. “I was born into this community of arts and activism,” says Sejahari. “I started at Kuumba Lynx, which is a hip-hop arts and education program housed in the Uptown area of Chicago. We take elements of rap, poetry, theater, dance, and we put it into a production, so the world of poetry and theater were always intertwined.”
This week, Sejahari joined other young creatives at the International Youth Poetry Slam Festival @bravenewvoices for its 20th annual gathering. “People think that poetry is this café, after-midnight thing, when the culture that it’s become is a place for youth to speak their truth and express themselves in a way that informs the entire world of what’s going on.” The multi-day festival, which includes workshops, competitions, showcases, community service and civic participation, is an energizing moment for Sejahari. “I love this slam community. I have people in Philly, New York, Twin Cities, Miami — we haven’t seen these people for a whole year, some two years, but we come back and we’re best friends. Social media plays a big part in that because it’s sort of how we constantly stay updated on each other’s lives.”
Check out our story to meet more poets from this year’s @bravenewvoices festival.
Photo by @amaru_ler
The majesty of the Matterhorn pales in comparison to the cuteness of these Valais blacknose sheep. “When I saw this herd of sheep and well-known Matterhorn in the background, I imagined exactly this picture in my mind,” says Iryna Raichuk (@iryna_raichuk). “I just didn’t know how to make them still,” says Iryna, who lives in Zurich. An unfortunate misstep while trying to get the shot did just the trick. “I knocked over a stone and fell down with my heavy backpack. At that moment, I was screaming something and all sheep stopped moving. It was a magic.” #TheWeekOnInstagram
Photo by @iryna_raichuk
Two swans make guest appearances as Kate Matsevych (@kate_matsevych) strolls down a dock at Toronto’s Sunnyside Beach in our #BoomerangOfTheWeek. Kate has spent the past three years traveling the globe, and at each stop she tries to capture Boomerangs of inspiring places. “Actually, I’m scared of water,” says Kate, who grew up in the Ukraine. “But when moving forward into something new and unexplored, the main thing is to know that you’re not alone, and you have a person that will always take care of you — like those two swans. Did you know that they are mates for life?”
Add #BoomerangOfTheWeek to your next Boomerang — yours might show up here on @instagram. 
#Boomerang by @kate_matsevych
Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPmood
The goal this weekend is to create photos and videos that creatively interpret specific moods, like this underwhelmed, sleepy cat by @rojiman. Whether you’re feeling amused, energetic, mellow or even bored, here’s how to get started:
If you’re with friends, look for ways to playfully exaggerate a mood without using words — like all yawning together to show being tired, or contrasting one friend’s silliness with another friend’s seriousness.
Consider how an emotion can be conveyed through props, colors and even sounds. Colors like blue and gray can create a sense of calm, while happiness can be found in overhearing laughter at a public park.
If you’re not sure what mood best suits you — try some on in stories via face filters and stickers, and share your favorite creations to feed.
PROJECT RULES: Please add the #WHPmood 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.
Featured photo by @rojiman
“I’m an adult and I dress up as people,” says 22-year-old cosplayer Kiera Please (@kieraplease). While Kiera enjoys seeing the reactions she gets from bystanders when she’s in costume, she says the process of transforming herself into beloved characters is the real reward. “I think growing up, I was a little scared to be myself in a sense, or wear whatever I wanted to or do my hair however I wanted to,” the Atlanta-based creative explains. “What I’ve learned is, don’t be afraid to just try something completely random or new, because you never know what you’re going to like until you try it.”
Watch our Instagram story now to see Kiera’s cosplay characters come to life.
Photo by @kieraplease
Hello, world! Meet today’s squeaky-clean #WeeklyFluff, @sun.kyu39thankyou. This Himalayan cat and his brother from Japan are often seen soaking in the tub, dressing up and munching on treats. To learn more about these seal-point furballs, follow @sun.kyu39thankyou
Lady Divine Tugade (@uhmlady) is a natural both in front of and behind the camera. “I’m not very camera shy,” says the 19-year-old fashion blogger and photographer, “but styling and capturing individuals is definitely something I love!”
Lady Divine moved from Quezon City in the Philippines to Edmonton, Alberta, with her family when she was just 1 year old. “Alberta is absolutely beautiful,” she says. “I can’t even explain the rush you can get hiking up mountains in Jasper, Banff and Canmore.”
In her off-blogging hours, Lady Divine likes to spend time with her neighbors and friends, and especially appreciates the range of people she meets in her city. “I love the diversity here,” she says. “Not only in ethnicity and background, but in the types of individuals you meet and their crafts.”
This story is part of #🇨🇦❤️ a new series celebrating people all across Canada.
Photo by @uhmlady
Foreign news correspondent Sune Engel Rasmussen (@suneengel) has his #EyesOn Afghanistan, a place he says is teeming with stories. “Afghanistan has, to some extent, dropped off the news radar,” he says. Sune is working to bring it back.
Sune, who is Danish, arrived in Afghanistan in 2014 after three years of living and working in Iran. “I knew the Persian language and had a great interest in the region,” he says. Though he lives in Kabul, he tries to travel to other parts of the country, such as Helmand Province, at least once a month to understand the conflict happening outside of the capital city. “Afghanistan is an immensely fascinating place to report from, and every day offers new surprises about the country,” he says. “Afghans are generous with their time and their stories, and I feel fortunate to be able to listen to them and to experience this country at a crucial time in its modern history.”
Photo by @suneengel
Turning an emoji into a polymer clay mosaic is no easy feat, but artist Linda Webb (@creekside_studio) made it happen with this little 😻. “This photo makes me happy,” she says. “This particular emoji is always used to communicate a positive message.” #WHPISpyEmojis
Photo by @creekside_studio
“If I could send one emoji to my dog, which one would it be?” asks Samuel Jurcic (@lookoflal), blowing 😘 to his loyal friend Lal. #WHPISpyEmojis
Photo by @lookoflal
As an architect, “I’m always looking for simple, minimal structures,” says Aida Rivero Díaz (@candyperfumeworld). “The fact that this is not a regular emoji made it harder to find!” Ⓜ️
Follow along to see more of our favorites from last weekend's hashtag project, #WHPISpyEmojis.
Photo by @candyperfumeworld
Many photographers seek out the light, but for Brooke Shaden (@brookeshaden), the most interesting aspects of human nature are in the dark. “I see a lot of beauty in the things I find dark and scary,” says the Arizona-based fine art photographer. “I’ve always been a joyous person, and I find that to be a little boring when you’re telling stories. I think that’s why I’m compelled to create dark imagery.”
And yet Brooke also shines light into dark corners with The Light Space, a school in India she co-founded to teach photography to survivors of human trafficking. “I was doing a workshop for women who had been kicked out on the street because they’d gotten too old. They were so shy, but when they got the cameras in their hands? I’ve never seen people laugh so hard,” she says. “I want to help people see beauty in the darkness in their lives. They’re going through hard times, but see the beauty in that.” Photo by @brookeshaden