Instravel – A Photogenic Mass Tourism Experience

Traveling today is less about visiting and experiencing exotic locales than it is about pointing your smartphone at famous landmarks in hopes of racking up Instagram likes. #instatravel, #passportlife, #wanderlust. We’ve all seen these travel hashtags permeate our Instagram feeds, usually used for glamorous shots of people doing enviable things in exotic places. To poke a little fun at the social media obsessed, Oliver KMIA collected some of the most stereotypical travel pictures a compiled them into a face-paced ode to mass tourism.

The result is Instravel, a video slideshow made out of thousands of Instagram travel photos that look pretty much identical. All of the typical tropes are covered: the passport photo, the pretty girl leading you by the hand, the airplane wing, and all of the most iconic landmarks being photographed from the same old locations in the exact same way.

Oliver writes that he was inspired to create the video after becoming frustrated with tourists while traveling in Rome. He writes:  “During my trip, I felt that many people didn’t really enjoy the moment and were hooked to their smartphones. As if the ultimate goal of travel was to brag about it online and run after the likes and followers.” “I have nothing against all these people in the video, I’m one of them. It’s a little joke. Not a deep social analysis,” he continued.

Oliver does point out that in researching photos for the video, he did find some inspiring and talented people — for better or worse, social media is just a tool. Still, it’s an eye opening look at how our collective behavior can be governed by our need to perform for an app like Instagram.