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

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“I started being open about my experience as a person with mental illness, because there’s a real serious void in the dance world,” says professional ballet dancer Sydney Magruder (@theblackswandiaries), who has struggled with anxiety since childhood.
“In January of 2015, after having mixed success auditioning in New York, I went and did a show in Boston. And then I’m not exactly sure what happened, but for nine months after coming back to New York, I didn’t leave the house. I didn’t go to class. I didn’t see my friends. I hardly talked to anybody except my wife. I’m just getting back to where I feel like I can audition again.
In the ballet world, we don’t pay attention to people with mental illnesses. We kind of write them off and marginalize them as not being dedicated or hardworking enough. But I am one of the most passionate and dedicated people I know — anybody who knows me will also tell you that.
You don’t have to pretend you’re not sick, but you do have to fight every day to make your life what you want it to be. Every day you do have the choice to get up and do something and be great. You can’t let anybody tell you you’re not worthy.” #hereforyou
Photo of @theblackswandiaries by @rachelnevillephoto

Today, we’re introducing two new features in Direct: landscape and portrait orientations, plus links.
Now, whenever you send a permanent photo or video to your friends in Direct from your camera roll, you don’t have to worry about cropping it.
We’ve also added support for links in Direct. You can share website links with friends and preview them directly from your thread. You’ll also see links for phone numbers and addresses.
Since introducing the new Instagram Direct in April, we’ve been excited to give people more ways to have fun, visual conversations. We’ll continue to make improvements to Instagram Direct throughout the year.
Landscape and portrait uploads in Direct are available today on iOS, with Android coming soon. Links in Direct messages are available today on both Android and iOS as part of Instagram version 10.22.

Twenty-nine-year-old Sarah Diouf calls herself a serial entrepreneur. She started a digital media and visual production company that houses two publications, and her latest venture Tongoro (@tongorostudio) is a ready-to-wear clothing line #MadeInAfrica. “By sourcing our materials on the continent and working with local tailors, our long-term goal is to contribute to the development of the retail production in western Africa, opening our first atelier here in Dakar, Senegal,” says Sarah, who was born in Paris and is now based in Dakar.
Tongoro translates to “star” in Sango, the national language of the Central African Republic, where Sarah’s mother comes from. “I want to invite young Africans to dare and reach for the stars, prove that we can build our own dream by owning our ideas and putting them into fruition,” she says. “I dream of an Africa healed from the wounds inflicted because of a way of thinking that limited us for too long. It’s time for us to get to work and build a secure, strong and promising place, challenging the rest of the world with assets that belong to no one else but us.” #AfricaDay
Photo by @tongorostudio

#hellomynameis Malena Flores (@imalenaflores). I’m 23 years old and I’m an illustrator. I live in Itamari, a rural town in Bahia, Brazil, where I find the small moments of beauty that inspire me — like a clear night sky, where I hunt stars. Drawing has always been close to my heart. It was my favorite pastime as a child and is the best way I have to externalize my thoughts. I like experimenting with lots of different things; I’m incapable of sticking to a single medium. Art is freedom.
Light, colors and flowers are the elements that characterize my work. Without them, what I do would be empty. Before, I used to draw on my own in my room. Illustration is a solitary pursuit; people spend a lot of time alone, creating. Today, I receive lovely messages from thousands of people, more than the entire population of my town. Knowing that what I do here reaches and inspires other people makes me feel that I have fulfilled my duty and gives me a warm feeling.
May our future be filled with flowers.”
Illustration by @imalenaflores

“My first modeling contract was in Japan when I was 13,” says model, photographer and TV and radio personality Brandise Danesewich (@antimodel). “I’m Canadian, but I spent the majority of my youth in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia before moving to New York, and later settling in Los Angeles. I was generally the black sheep, punk outcast among my modeling peers, so I quickly discovered music and photography as a refuge. I realized I could intimately access all my favorite worlds with a camera.
My work flow is a little unconventional, but luckily it works for me and the way I see the world. I grew up in the last generation before the smartphone era, so I make prints and often re-photograph the prints, or even photograph my monitor or the back of my camera, adding in window light, artificial light sources, reflections, animate and inanimate objects.
A few years ago, I left LA for Palm Springs, California. I have always had an undeniable magnetic attraction to the desert — it’s a magical place. I spend more time on the road than at home and use the desert as a basecamp. I was born with sand in my veins. The desert is a great place to both come back to and to leave.” #WhereIComeFrom
Photo by @antimodel

This portrait was quite literally a flash in the pan. Saeed Kouhkan (@skouhkan) found his sister’s reflection in the oil of a frying pan while cooking at his home in Behbahan, Iran. “It’s a mysterious portrait,” he says. “I like the contrast between the red lip and the dark background of the pan.” #WHPreflections
Photo by @skouhkan

By positioning her foster grandson and labradoodle, Reagan, along the reflective waters of the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon, Sandi Swiridoff (@reagandoodle) was able to capture two meanings within the #WHPreflections theme. “The practice of yoga encourages us to reflect back on our own lives,” she says.
Photo by @reagandoodle

At home in Izmir, Turkey, Serkan Çolak’s (@serkanncolak) daughter played with a pocket mirror as her parents looked on. “This photo tells the story of me and my family,” says Serkan.
Follow along as we feature more of our favorite submissions to #WHPreflections.
Photo by @serkanncolak

Hello, world! Today’s #WeeklyFluff is a very good boy. Meet golden retriever Mambo (@mambohitsgolden), a therapy dog who is part of INATAA, an animal assisted therapy organization from São Paulo. Mambo spends lots of time volunteering for people in need of some puppy power — often with a big crew of his canine companions. To learn more about Mambo’s life and work, follow @mambohitsgolden.

American athlete Christian Pulisic’s (@cmpulisic) first memories of soccer are with his father. “I remember my dad throwing a mini ball at me in the house and trying to score on him in the mini goal,” says the 18-year-old. Christian grew up in Pennsylvania, but moved to Dortmund, Germany, three years ago to pursue his dream of becoming a professional soccer player. Although adjusting to life in a foreign country is never easy — Christian’s biggest hurdles were “the language barrier and finding regular friends to spend time with” — he’s taken to life in his adopted hometown: he has his own apartment, a group of friends and speaks German fluently.
Playing attacking midfielder for the Borussia Dortmund team in the German Bundesliga league eased the transition. “We have the best fans in the world,” says Christian. “They’re the most passionate in all of football. The game means everything to them.” And as for his young age relative to his teammates, Christian shrugs it off. “I was always the youngest on the team,” he says. “It’s normal for me.”
Watch our Instagram story now to check out Christian’s adopted hometown.

Today we’re excited to announce two new ways to discover the world around you on Explore: location stories and hashtag stories. Now you can see what’s happening around you and find stories related to your interests.
You’ll see a new story ring at the top of Explore filled with stories happening near you. You can also search for any location around the world, and you’ll see a story ring for that place at the top of the location page.
We’re also beginning to introduce hashtag stories on Explore. When you search for a hashtag, you may see a story ring at the top of the page filled with stories using that hashtag.
Add a location sticker or hashtag to your story and you may be included in the larger story. If you want to use a location or hashtag sticker but don’t want your story to appear on Explore, tap the X on your stories viewer list.
From discovering new parts of your hometown to jogging alongside the #fromwhereirun community, location and hashtag stories help you share these experiences as they unfold.
To learn more about location stories and hashtag stories, check out help.instagram.com.
Location stories on Explore are available on iOS and Android as part of Instagram version 10.22 in the Apple App Store and Google Play. Hashtag stories will be rolling out over the coming weeks.

Traveling photographer Piku (@xxpiku) doesn’t need any reflective props for his subjects when nature provides them all on its own. #WHPreflections
Photo by @xxpiku

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