Sisanmi Eureka Schuller, “I Find Performing Art Fascinating”
Sisanmi Eureka Schuller is from Delta State. The filmmaker and art curator is promoting the country’s art in the diaspora. Currently, she is bringing innovation to Austria Communities. She attended Kinuifa Nursery and Primary School, Lagos and Standard Model School, Warri, Delta State. She further bagged a degree in Basic Medicine from the University of Debrecen and Conceptual Art from Fine Art University. In this interview with Guardian Life, she spoke on her upcoming project, Spectacular Summer Gyration and promoting art in the diaspora.
How will you describe art in the diaspora?
The face of art in the Diaspora is encouraging in that both indigenes and the foreigner appreciate good art and are constantly in search of new artworks. I should say it is the future of art works.
Tell us about your upcoming show, what is it all about?
Spectacular Summer Gyration is an event created by a team of people with passion for cultural promotion and mutual understanding among peoples of different worldviews. The event is geared towards promoting cultural diversity as an integral part of Lisbon identity and also to promote sustainable relationships between people of different cultures, creeds, nationalities, languages and backgrounds. Thus, this is one of the reasons I’m bent on lifting the country’s art culture in the diaspora.
You are involved in so many activities, which do you find more pleasant doing and why?
I find the performing art fascinating. Its versatility strengthens my creative mindset and it keeps me on my toes. It’s the more reason I take time to study new concepts to ensure a great legacy in the future. I find cultural promotion like music, dance and fashion very pleasant, and this is because I like getting to meet and know about peoples of many cultural backgrounds to promote understanding among peoples.
Like Nigeria, what is the acceptance level of Nollywood production in Austria?
It is a new phenomenon in Austria, however, since the beginning of Austrian brand of Nollywood; it is well accepted especially among the African communities. Nollywood production in Austria is fast rising, with its positive impact on the society.
What collaborative effect is been made to infuse indigenous languages to your production?
Efforts are taken to include, Austrian citizens especially the youth, who are veritable source for upcoming talent. It has been a positive collaboration, infusing indigenous languages in my productions. The experience is amazing. It turned out well to my greatest surprise; because Austrians are 100 per cent ready to explore other languages and that we have been able to do in past productions and fusing more this year.
What was growing up like for you?
Being bred by my mother as a single parent, with two of my siblings. It is still a pain for me not having a fatherly love. It did affect me while growing up and also manifested in my inability to get into a relationship early enough. And when I finally did, it was difficult for me to reciprocate the lover. It is more reason I’m independent and so hardworking to be a great mum (wife) some day. It is unimaginable to have a father that is well to do, alive and enjoys helping outsiders, but won’t support his wife and biological children that were my story growing up. It is very embarrassing when employers wonder why we (his children) go to look for job immediately they hear the name of my father, as they expect my dad will be able to provide everything we might need owing to his position in the society. They would tell us, ‘your father is our boss’. Please stop pretending; go back to your father! Still, despite all we were passing through at the time, my mother kept saying you have to respect and love him.
With all that you do in the diaspora at the moment, you foresee this while growing up?
Yes, I’ve always wanted to be a media personality as a child. I remembered always acting in the children’s departments then and later in teenagers department. It is a dream come true today, because I never allowed my background to bring me down at any point in life. I strive to be a better person always.
Is Nollywood Austria open to collaboration with the Nigerian movie industry?
Sure, Nollywood Austria is very much opened for collaboration with Nollywood Nigeria. In fact, there was meant to be collaboration some years back but due to the Coronavirus outbreak in 2020, we had to postpone it. We are a growing a community open to new ideas and innovation that project our little effort to a diverse audience.
What is your expectation from the Nigeria creative industry?
I look forward to Nollywood having a ‘Film Village’ in Nigeria, where movie artists from other African countries and other races will come for a production and collaboration. I see Nollywood Industry as the great future investments for the nation and globally, because it is a genuine machine for revenue generation if properly developed.
What do you miss about Nigeria?
I miss the peace, freedom and the natural food without preservatives because over here in Austria most things we feed has lots of chemicals in it and the tendency of tripling in size cannot be controlled.