In celebration of Instagram’s commitment to fostering a safe and kinder community, a #KindComments mural has been unveiled in Melbourne as part of its global initiative to turn blank walls into colourful beacons of kindness.
Having launched in 16 cities around the world to date, #KindComments is an inspiring movement calling on Australians to spread kindness both on and off Instagram.
The Aussie initiative highlights the local LGBTQI+ community and its response to the Australian marriage equality law, which saw the first same-sex couples legally marry this week.
Originally inspired by Jimmy Kimmel’s popular segment ‘Mean Tweets’, where celebrities read out negative online comments, #KindComments came about to highlight the positive moments shared on Instagram – a concept quickly adopted and mobilised by the LGBTQI+ community.
These online conversations have since led to the creation of colourful murals all around the world, starting with the 2017 Pride Festival in LA, and have since been welcomed by the global community, with many visiting these walls, taking photos and posting kind comments.
As part of Instagram’s participation in of the 2018 Midsumma Festival – Victoria’s premier LGBTQI+ arts and cultural event – the platform is calling on festival attendees to spread their own comments of kindness.
The platform will also reveal #KindComments videos created by PROJECT ROCKIT co-founders Rose Funkenhouse and Lucy Thomas, featuring many well-known and respected faces within the LGBTQI+ community who have long championed inclusiveness.
Theese include independent member for Sydney in NSW parliament Alex Greenwich, 2017 Young Australian of the Year for Victoria and AFL player Jason Ball, Melbourne crochet artist Phil Ferguson, GoggleBox celebrities Wayne and Tom, transgender content creator AJ Clementine, and gender transcendent jazz singer Mama Alto.
Instagram’s global public policy manager, Carolyn Merrell, who played a significant role in bringing the #KindComments movement to life around the world, was in Melbourne for the launch.
“This is the first #KindComments mural in Australia and we’re delighted to be here in Melbourne as part of the 2018 Midsumma Festival to celebrate marriage equality with the LGBTQI+ community,” she said.
“Personally, it’s particularly special for me to be here with my Australian wife after such a momentous decision.
“From New York to Los Angeles, Mexico City to Tokyo and Mumbai, we’ve worked with local artists to create murals that inspire #KindComments among our community all around the world.
“Melbourne is the perfect home for our latest #KindComments mural given the recent marriage equality decision in Australia.”
“Instagram enables people from all over the world to share their stories. We hope that these colourful murals will inspire people to share positive, uplifting #KindComments with others in real life and online.”
Designed by local artist George Rose, the mural takes pride of place at Juddy Roller Studios in Fitzroy.
“The ‘You’re Rad!’ wall for Instagram is a confirmation and reminder to passers-by to keep doing what they’re doing,” Rose said.
“A wall in an urban environment is much like the social media feed, and this is why I wanted to create a bright, impactful artwork with a positive message.
“Not only did it need to stand out, but I hope it stops people on their journey and encourages them to be their best selves.”
The mural will feature #KindComments from the Instagram community, with locals and visitors alike encouraged to take part in this collaborative piece of living street art by adding something thoughtful that will make someone’s day.
Regardless of physical location, anyone can join the #KindComments movement by leaving a supportive comment on an Instagram post.
Event-goers can also record their own messages of kindness by visiting the Instagram #KindComments photo booth at Midsumma Festival, which will later appear and be shown as part of a free video exhibition at Juddy Roller Studios from Tuesday 23 January to Thursday 25 January.