They say a picture paints a thousand words; something that could well be the motto of our generation if Instagram is anything to go by. It’s comforting, then, to know that emerging from between the selﬁes is a rise in verse, spearheaded by a new collective of Instapoets using the image-heavy medium as a platform for something a bit more cerebral. Words.
With her ﬁrst book Milk and Honey selling 2.5 million copies worldwide – the best-selling adult book in the US last year – and an Insta following of 3.3 million, you could argue that 26-year-old Punjabi-Canadian Rupi Kaur is the poster girl for the movement.
Her second collection, The Sun and Her Flowers, went on sale to huge amounts of fanfare. Why? Because her poetry – tackling topics from love, rejection, prejudice and misogyny – holds a mirror up to the young female experience, and presents it in the kind of eminently shareable, bite-size format that resonates deeply with the Insta-community. After all, we love a meme, an inspirational quote and an artsy font. Rupi’s work combines all three, and she’s not the only one.
Coco Capitán, the Spanish artist whose pithy aphorisms caught the attention of Gucci’s Alessandro Michele has now had her work splayed across the brand’s T-shirts, bum bags and totes, and even turned into murals in NYC and Milan.
NYC-based artist and poet Cleo Wade – described as “the millennial Oprah” – might use Instagram as a powerful, main medium for her accessible-yet-empowering messages of “love, acceptance, justice, peace, and equality,” but her work writ large on the side of LA’s Beverly Center shows that these women are springing forth from a two-dimensional virtual landscape to have a serious, three-dimensional impact IRL. Be that breaking publishing records, joining forces with one of the world’s most inﬂuential brands, or preaching an awakened message to the masses.
So while a picture may paint a thousand words, these women are using words as weapons in a world where we need them more than ever. The pen, as they say, is mightier than the sword. Here’s the proof.
Photos: Instagram and supplied