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 created 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.
She is currently 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 Reframing migrant narratives through arts practice and its dissemination, Arts and Refugees: Multidisciplinary Perspectives (Vol. 2)
Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies, Liege Universite (forthcoming)
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
2009 Carolyn in the City, Timeout Chicago