GREECE TO UNITED STATES
Processing the world through storytelling; addressing issues of memory, trauma, social inclusion, and human connection
Eirini Steirou (Fulbright Student, 2007–2008) is an independent filmmaker based in Athens, Greece. Her work for cinema and digital platforms discusses issues of memory, trauma, cultural heritage, social inclusion, and human connection. She approaches film as a strong social tool to give insight to opportunities and endeavors that make a community (local or global) stronger, whether these come from well-established institutions or grass-root collectives. She focuses on character-driven narratives, personal journeys of self-discovery, and questions of “domestic” ethnography. She had the opportunity to direct and produce a series of Fulbright scholars’ stories and a short documentary in order to celebrate the Fulbright Foundation’s seventy-year presence in Greece. The impact and depth of the Fulbright experience is presented through ten different points of view, from scholars at a pivotal moment in their life, where education and exchange open their “minds and hearts” to the world.
Having a background in architecture, Ms. Steirou made the transition to filmmaking by moving right into the center of a very diverse community in San Francisco, California. As a Fulbright scholar, she completed her studies in the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University, a school founded amid the political activism and artistic experimentation of the 1960s. Studying at a school committed to equity and social justice, during difficult years of recession, made her think about the value of community and collectivity. Ms. Steirou produced narrative work for festivals and was awarded the Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship for emerging artists from the San Francisco Foundation. Besides filmmaking, she is the co-founder of an award-winning light-art collective that researches the urban lightscape and produces large-scale creative light installations in the public spaces of European cities.