Instagram and the United Nations Create Cinemagraph Portraits with Flixel


A group of world leaders walked into a room and came to life as cinemagraphs. Seriously – that happened.

Last month, representatives from around the globe gathered as a part of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to address the current agenda on ongoing socio-economical and political issues, focusing on migration and refugees. To commemorate the beginning of the UNGA’s 71st session, the United Nations and Instagram partnered to create a photo studio as a part of the VIP Social Media Space, hosting key figures attending the UNGA. Flixel’s Chief Creative Officer Mark Homza was invited to the studio to collaborate on an exclusive cinemagraph portrait series of some of the most pivotal decision makers, ambassadors and speakers addressing the Assembly and its subcommittees.

Shot by famed National Geographic photographer Robert Clarke, the United Nations portrait series explored some of the objectives, aspirations and concerns of the guests in the VIP Social Media Space, including UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlabmbo-Ngula, actor and United Nations Messenger of Peace Michael Douglas, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leaders from countries like Greece, Brazil, New Zealand and many more. The use of cinemagraphs to make these decision-makers and influencers come alive on Instagram further emphasized their significance as the agents of change responsible for the stories of billions of people worldwide.

Check out ten of our favourite portraits from the United Nations cinemagraph portrait series, and explore the entire collection on the official United Nations Instagram.

1) UN Secretary General, Ban-ki Moon

2) Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates

3) Actor and United Nations Messenger of Peace, Michael Douglas

4) UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlabmbo-Ngula

A video posted by United Nations (@unitednations) on

5) Foreign Minister of Greece, Nikos Kotzias

A video posted by United Nations (@unitednations) on

6) UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark

7) Yusra Mardini and Yiech Pur Biel, Refugees from Syria and Sudan and athletes from the Refugee Olympic Team at Rio2016

8) United Nations Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate, Mary Robinson

9) United Nations Special Advisor, Karen AbuZayd

10) Juan Carlos Varela, President of Panama

(Marketing Specialist at Flixel)

Mehek crafts words, content, events and more for Flixel. She firmly believes that life is not life without a little spice, which is why she adds Sriracha to everything.


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