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Photo by Joe Mazza @Bravelux

Carolyn Defrin is an artist, researcher and facilitator born in the US, currently based between Austria and the UK.

With an early career in Chicago theatre and community development, she worked with several ensemble theatres, schools and organisations to develop a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary practice. 

Since moving to London in 2012, she has been creating work across video, installation, theatre, music and dance in theatres, galleries, site-specific venues, schools and community contexts. With a practice that is rooted in creative conversations about socially relevant content, her work has focused on community cohesion, migration, identity politics and women's empowerment.  Often using audio-recordings of these conversations in her practice, she makes work that aims to illuminate, activate and humanise complex issues through expressive and poetic means. Her work has been presented and/or commissioned by The Barbican, The Yard, Ovalhouse, The Albany, performing.borders, LADA, Westfield Shopping Centre, Borough Road Gallery and Camden People's Theatre. Outside of the UK, she has created and presented work in the US, Germany, Greece, Iceland and Tanzania.


She holds a PhD in co-creating culture and policy from London South Bank University and an MA in performance design from Central Saint Martins. She is also co-founder of Kissing Project- a multimedia storytelling platform that celebrates diverse humanity through audio-recorded stories that begin with a kiss. 

Currently, Carolyn is a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Graz, researching and developing work about the role of art in border zones as part of a project exploring the elasticity of Europe's Southern Borders (specifically in Greece, Tunisia and the Canary Islands.)



2023  Transformation across time and space  Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, Volume 14 

2023  Reframing migrant narratives through arts practice and its dissemination, Arts and Refugees: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (Vol. 2)

          Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies, Liege Université

2021  Third Nature: Embodiment of borders and thinking beyond: Surviving despite capitalism, Dr. Elena Marchevska, Dr. Carolyn Defrin,
          Journal of  Dance and Somatic Practices

2021  Project Finding Home catalogue

2021 Intra-vulnerabilities: An artistic strategy for co-creating culture and policy with communities, artists and funders, London South Bank University

2018  Make More Art; An arts practice based policy for co-creating culture, Hammersmith United Charities 

2018 'Cabinet of Generosities: 'The Kissing Project'  Performance Research Journal, vol. 23, no. 6

2013 The Monster Weekly created with John Francisco and Kyle Bice


2023  Tremaine Art Gallery Presents 'SHIFT: Artists Explore the Complex Condition of Human Migration  Hotchkiss School

2022  Digital Art transforms Children's services at Tessa Jowell Health Centre, Dulwich Picture Gallery

2021  The joy of cats, the power of periods and #FreeBritney, Standard Issue Podcast

2021  Carolyn Defrin Talks about 28 Days Greater, Theatre Bubble
2021  Review: 28 Days Greater at Camden People's Theatre, LouReviews

2020  Interview with PhD student, Carolyn Defrin, London South Bank University, School for the Arts and Creative Industries

2019  Kissing Rebellion, Exeunt Magazine 

2019  Kissing Rebellion, a very special piece of theatre The Spy in the Stalls

2009  Carolyn in the City, Timeout Chicago

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