Towards the end of the nineteenth century before the world went spinning on its axis and nations decided to engage in the war to end all wars, there was a little movement of artists growing right in the heart of Germany. No one could really define them at the time. They had a certain avant-garde style to their works and you could find it in several mediums of art from paintings to architecture to literature, theatre and even music.
It wasn’t until the German Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche released his book ‘The birth of Tragedy’ that people began coming to terms with this new movement of European artists.
In the birth of Tragedy, Nietszche likened the Greeks’ need for balance in all that they did to how artists of the time viewed their Western culture but more importantly, Nietzsche emphasized on the fact that artists of the time were seeking a new way to tell their truths - a way to, you know, express themselves in a world where been boxed in was the norm.
“The sphere of poetry does not lie beyond this world as the fantastic impossibility of a poet's brain. It wants to be exactly the opposite, the unadorned expression of the truth, and it must therefore cast off the false costume of that truth thought up by the man of culture.” - Friedrich Nietszche (The birth of Tragedy, 1872)
That was it! Artists just needed a way to share their expression of the truth. All they wanted to do was express themselves through their art. That was the birth of expressionism.
A bit about myself: My name is Tobi and I’m a Nigerian living in Canada. You see, I have always loved writing. It’s an amazing art form and my love for writing has opened doors for me and given me the opportunity to work with a lot of creative minds, authors, journalists, and free-thinking publications. I even wrote a book last year (check it out here.)
You see, writing is my preferred art form. I had a blog a while ago - back when blogspot was still a thing - and that blog was doing so well. I was getting up to 32,000 views per article but I got disoriented it. It felt like something was missing so I stopped it.
I took some time off writing as well. I thought I was going through writer’s block but then I realized it was something more than that. I realized I was looking for a new way to express my writing (art, truth)
You see, as a Nigerian, I grew up looking up to several great Nigerian artists like Fela Kuti, Olu Jacobs and Wole Soyinka - who by the way is a Nobel Prize winning playwright and poet. These guys had a unique way of expressing their art. You could tell it was theirs whenever you saw or heard it.
I did some soul searching and came to terms with the fact that as a writer, blogs weren’t cutting it for me so here I am - using videos. But this is where it gets crazy, I am challenging myself to become a better writer by sharing visual stories like this every day for the next 1 year - and I would like you. Yes you reading this to hold me accountable.
The only way I can find balance, authenticity and self-expression in a noisy visually motivated culture like ours is by doing something that is true to myself. My daily visual stories would be my way of truly expressing myself in a way that is both creative and consistent.
If I can pull this off, I think Nietzsche would be proud.
If you want to join me on this journey, go check out my first video.