These stunning accounts from women all over the globe will open your eyes and capture your heart. All you have to do is click “follow.”
Social media is so often used to catalog the everyday—a funny thing your friend’s baby did today, what you think about a celebrity’s new haircut, or just a picture of what we ate for breakfast (because it’s not every week that your Sunday morning pancakes turn out in perfect circles). But social media can also offer much more than just a vehicle to click “like” on the musings and photos of our friends’ lives; it can be a unique opportunity to surround ourselves with the unexpected and to broaden our understanding of the world.
So why not broaden your horizons by taking a look at these 11 beautiful, diverse Instagram accounts from women around the globe? Adding them to your daily feed will likely inspire, educate, and enchant you, all at the same time:
1. The colorful life
A beautiful display of 'thiossanne' or heritage of the Pulaar people. The Pulaars hold their culture strong on days like this cultural celebration in Mbolo Aly Sidy, but the culture is disappearing, being forgotten. Adults and children can both recollect the days before Mbolo Aly had electricity, before TV. There was less 'imitation of westerners'. With obtaining electricity, we have lost history. #Senegal #everydaysenegal #everydayafrica #pulaar #peacecorps
Dana Roth’s pictures take up every pixel of the frame—bursting with activity, with color, with life. A Peace Corp volunteer with roots in California and Senegal, her pictures convey a sense of both curiosity and immense pleasure with her surroundings. Look at a few of Roth’s photos and one can’t help but want to be in the same world she depicts: a world full of smiling faces, delicious food, and technicolor decor.
2. The creative architect
Zaruhy Sangochian is an architect and photographer based in Mexico. She takes the basics of a successful Instagram account—photos of food, cool buildings, and landscapes—and transforms it into something playful, bright, and new. Her eye for details and shapes is exquisite, opening new windows into an already gorgeous country.
3. The abstract advocate
Laura El-Tantawy is a journalistic photographer with roots in England, Egypt, and the U.S. Her photos veer wildly from intimate portraits to abstract art. Her work is beautiful, heartbreaking, and important in a world full of refugees, wanderers, and those longing to be free.
4. The humanitarian photographer
From the series #changeincambodia I captured with @ijm Captain Keo Rattana knows danger. He works in the shady streets where traffickers try to abuse children. But he rarely feels afraid anymore. He’s been trained well, and he’s helped rescue dozens of children successfully. Still, it’s difficult for his family at home. “My mother was not happy about my job. She was afraid when I was in an operation, that I might be at risk.” He smiles. “But I told her that we arrested all the perpetrators, so she does not need to worry.” This is the gentle confidence of a new generation of Cambodia’s anti-trafficking police. Once seen as uniformly ineffective and corrupt—today they’re ready to investigate trafficking cases and treat victims with dignity. They take pride in their work and want to keep Cambodia moving in the right direction. The Captain says, “I hope all people across the country will become aware of the law and enforce the law together. Whenever we understand the law together, we are able to prevent and suppress trafficking. We must all work as a team.” You can read more stories at IJM.org/transformcambodia #ifgathering2016
Esther Havens travels to the places in our world that are often forgotten (at least in social media) and brings both awareness and beauty to everything she captures. She works with NGOs such as Charity: Water and the International Justice Mission to share stories that dignify and elevate the subjects while inspiring people around the world to become involved.
5. The writer from Karachi
Mariya Karimjee is a freelance writer from Pakistan whose gorgeous landscapes and scenes of everyday life in Karachi give us a different perspective into a not-often seen part of the world. Mariya is a creative journalist with an eye for chronicling the vivid everyday life she is immersed in: swaying palm trees, street vendors, and cool out-of-the-way coffee shops.
6. The pride of East Africa
Zahra Qorane is striving to change perceptions of her country, one photograph at a time. Her glimpses into life in Somalia—historically one of the world’s most unstable countries—focuses on the small and positive changes she sees everywhere. Her enthusiasm and energy shine through her pictures of friends, family, and the epic oceanfront that surrounds her beloved country.
7. Scandinavian babies and reindeer
Anna-Maria Fjellström lives a unique life: a self-described “modern nomad” she (along with her husband, toddler, and dogs) herds reindeer in the wilds of Scandinavia. Her feed is beautiful, and spare, and, much like falling into a children’s book, introduces you to a world you never knew existed that you would very much like to visit.
8. The gorgeous new Kenya
Sarah Waiswa’s feed is a mash-up of high-fashion portraits and stunning every-day citizens. Born in Uganda, the majority of her pictures are from Kenya, and they are infused with a playful energy. Sarah got her degrees in psychology and sociology and uses her camera to take beautiful, insightful pictures of what she calls “The New African.”
9. A wanderer with a heart
Adriana Jaime’s feed feels like a curated polaroid—intimate, and only focused on the things that she loves: baking, travel, family and friends. Whether she is in Portland, New York, or Mexico, her work is lit from a glow within. Her captions are often ruminations on community, God, and finding celebration in the small—encouraging all of us to do the same.
10. Palestine speaks
Abeer Ayyoub is a Palestinian, an award-winning journalist, and an every-day girl. Through her eyes (and her camera phone) we see images of a life in Gaza that is closer to ours than we might realize: trying to eat healthy, hanging out with family, snapping a photo of a beautiful sunset. Abeer brings us into a new world, both humanizing and elevating her unique place in the world.
11. The farm girl-turned-city girl
Shannan Martin left her life in the country for an urban neighborhood in the heart of America. Her gorgeous photography captures the beauty in the every-day life as she sees it—through decorating her house to taking pictures of the striking buildings. With her camera, Martin loves her neighborhood, and her neighbors, and invites us in to do the same.