Instagram launches new campaign highlighting UK’s black creatives

Black influencers often face barriers to success, social media platform says

<p>The projects star Tanya Compas, Ibrahim Kamara, Henrie Kwushue and Esther Areola </p>

The projects star Tanya Compas, Ibrahim Kamara, Henrie Kwushue and Esther Areola

Instagram has launched a new initiative which hopes to champion black British creators and influencers.

In an announcement on Thursday 17 March, the social media platform said it had partnered with four black innovators on upcoming projects to help them “reach new heights in their careers”.

The social media platform is working with LGBT+ youth worker Tanya Compas, GUAP co-founder Ibrahim Kamara, Kiss FM host Henrie Kwushue, and leading lifestyle influencer Esther Areola.

Each of them will run bespoke initiatives, catering to their respective fields from March through to June.

“Black creators are consistently driving culture forward on the platform and too often face barriers to success in the creative industry,” Georgia Kelly, manager of emerging creator partnerships at Instagram said.

“Together with our change-making lead creators, we’ve curated a programme that will support emerging talent to forge careers for themselves both on and off Instagram.”

Compas, who was named as “one of the UK’s most inspiring women” by Amnesty UK in 2018. will spearhead a campaign called Erasure. The youth worker wants to help members of black LGBT+ communities “tell their stories unapologetically”.

She is hosting a two-day boot camp which will challenge stereotypical LGBT+ tropes and help participants kickstart their careers.

Kamara, the founder of the UK’s first-ever video magazine, will mentor five creators as they produce a full campaign from a brief under his project, named #TheBrief.

The participants will deliver editorial, video and images in response to themes of “legacy” and “community”, which Kamara has chosen in honour of his late father.

DJ and presenter Kwushue is running a content series sharing tips on how to break into the entertainment world, what working in the industry is like and how much aspiring creatives can expect to be paid.

Lastly, lifestyle influencer Areola is challenging emerging fashion and beauty creators to produce content in response to real brand briefs.

Last year, a survey of 2,000 people by UK-based organisation Black Lives in Music found that 88 per cent of black creators in the music industry feel they face barriers to progression, while 63 per cent said they had experienced racism.

Separately, a study of around 400 influencers in the US, carried out by communications firm MSL and The Influencer League, found that black influencers are paid 35 per cent less than white influencers.

In 2020, Adesuwa Ajayi, a black woman who previously managed influencers at talent agency AGM, founded a page called the “Influencer Pay Gap” on Instagram.

The page asks influencers to anonymously share the details of brand campaigns, including their ethnicity and how much they were paid.

Ajayi told The Verge she created the account after realising through her work that black creators were paid less and presented with less opportunities than their white counterparts.

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