If you live in one of India’s major cities, chances are that you’ve come across Instagram’s large outdoor ads – featuring popular names such as @themermaidscales or @kushalmistryofficial.

The campaign, called ‘We Are In The Making’, isn’t just about reminding us that Instagram exists while offline – there’s something to be said about the democratization of influencer culture as well. Through Instagram, several of us come across cultures, ideas, expressions, and art forms that change the way we think, and inspiring us to express ourselves too.

Curated by the likes of Facebook India Director Manish Chopra, actor Sara Ali Khan, media CEO Nikhil Taneja and more, IG’s new 25-under-25 list covers a breathtaking variety of creators and comics, artists and activists – all sharing their unique brand of humor, honesty, and raw talent.

Here’s a few highlights from this year’s list that we can’t wait to see more of:

 

1. Dr. Trinetra Haldar Gummaraju (@trintrin)

Queer activism has enjoyed a great deal of expression on Instagram, and Dr. Trinetra’s journey as a trans-woman is one hell of an example.

From sharing her dual journey of transition and doctorhood, to empowering queer folk and giving us a quick laugh too – she’s an example of personal expression that’s truly taken flight on the platform while inspiring thousands.

 

2. Surya MKR (@suryamkrofficial)

 

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From its origins in the 1970s to modern times, hip-hop has been about speaking your truth – no matter where in the world you come from. Amidst other artists from Tamil Nadu, Surya stands out with his unique blend of beatboxing – a mix of old-school beats with homegrown influences that he refers to as ‘South Style’.

With a constantly updating list of covers and a relaxed attitude, it’s no wonder that his art has brought together hundreds of thousands of followers.

 

3. Shantanu Dhope (@shantanuuu)

 

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A seriously-skilled makeup artist and creator from Mumbai, Shantanu’s beautiful work pushes the boundaries of India’s makeup scene – both creatively and socially.

From raising discussions on gender neutrality in India to blowing his fans’ minds with each upload, his bio speaks for itself – ‘brown boys wear makeup too.’

 

4. Gurpreet Singh (@gurpreet_illusiontown)

IG Reels has ushered in a massive influx of dance talent onto the platform – while there’s not shortage of talented young dancers, few will have you wondering ‘how did he do that?!’ the way Gurpreet does.

Describing himself as a Sikh Punjabi Animation/Robotics dancer, his reels combine a flair for choreography, years of practice, and all your favorite Punjabi beats.

 

5. Aditya Hirlekar (@nom___nom__)

 

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Aditya’s honestly the dream roommate – cheerful, chill, and most of all, one hell of a chef! From replicating your favorite desi treats to exploring the boundaries of home cooking in India, his platform has single-handedly stirred cravings for thousands of us.

At the same time, Aditya has succeeded at giving young men in the kitchen a great example to draw inspiration from.

(Image Sources: Instagram, @trintrin, @suryamkrofficial, @shantanuuu, @gurpreet_illusiontown, @nom___nom__)