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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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User Feature, recife, pop culture, brazil,

Instagramming Pop Culture with @matheusbeltrao

For more photos from Matheus, follow @matheusbeltrao on Instagram.

"I have always been interested in the way cultural references from all over the world can mesh together to form a collage of something unique," explains Brazil Instagrammer Matheus Beltrao (@matheusbeltrao).

Born and raised in the northeastern city of Recife, Matheus currently attends university as a film student. He traces his love for film back to an early passion: “I have always been fascinated by media and pop culture. Growing up I was really drawn to television, especially telenovelas, or Brazilian soap operas. Later, my love for film developed, as I became captivated by the way movies brought together photography and music.”

Now, Matheus brings his love of art and photography to his own photography on Instagram—a step he sees as integral for art to progress as a whole. “I hope that through art I can find other likeminded folks and that together we can change certain aspects of life. I think that Instagram and other social networks can be tools to help us start revolutions.”

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carnaval, carnival, brazil, recife, salvador, rio de janeiro,

Carnaval in Brazil

For more photos and videos from Carnaval 2014 in Brazil, explore the Sambódromo and Sambodromo do Anhembi location pages and browse the #Carnaval, #Salvador, #Olinda and #Recife hashtags.

In Brazil, it’s jokingly said that the year only really begins after Carnaval, the annual five-day festival before Ash Wednesday that marks the beginning of Lent. Brazilians take Carnaval seriously: most of the country shuts down to take part in the festivities and some participants begin planning their costumes and events up to a year in advance. The cities of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Vitória are known for giant parades led by samba schools, which bring in millions of viewers in person and through televised broadcasts. Smaller parades, or blocinhos, are also very popular as anyone can join in the parade as it progresses.

In the northeast, Carnaval is heavily influenced by Afro-Brazilian culture—and especially by its music. Huge crowds follow trucks blasting live music performances from famous Brazilian stars. This year’s singers include Claudia Leitte (@claudialeitte), Ivete Sangalo (@veveta), Gilberto Gil (@gilbertogil), Preta Gil (@pretagil) and Daniela Mercury (@danielamercury).