The philosopher Adriana Cavarero argues that each person is born unique and through speech and action with others creates an unrepeatable story. This article explores whether that theory, called narratability, holds up in digital spaces, especially on platforms such as Instagram, which favors repetition and fast consumption. One account, called Insta_Repeat, gathers images that are strikingly similar and lays them out together to reveal a proclivity to repetition for what otherwise might appear to be original expressions of experience. In this article, I examine one such post, made up of twelve images from the same cave with a similar pose of a person in the mouth of the cave. By tracking the photographers to their own Instagram account, and by conducting visual analyses of the images, I find that each does reveal a unique individual. However, the platform’s pressures for rapid consumption and repetitive tropes makes this endeavor far harder than a system that would favor true relationship-building.
"The Narratable Self Lost in a Cave: Tracing Hints of Humanity in an Instagram Trope,"
Storytelling, Self, Society: Vol. 16
, Article 6.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/storytelling/vol16/iss2/6