Kristina Gavran


Birth stories: arts for health and wellbeing

Kristina Gavran is a writer, theatre-maker, storyteller and researcher from Croatia, living in England. She gained a doctorate at Loughborough University in 2022, researching True-Life Storytelling performance. Her novel ‘The Palisander Guitar’ (Disput) was in the finals of the European Literature Award. The novel received the prestigious Mirko Kovac award for the best new author, and it has been translated and published in Bulgaria, Macedonia and France. Kristina works with theatres in Croatia and England. Her most recent projects are focused on: migration and Brexit (theatre play ‘Pepper and Honey’, Notnow Collective), building community (storytelling audio experience ‘BOSA’, Notnow Collective) and motherhood (‘The Moving Museum of Motherhood’, Moving Stories and Watford Palace Theatre).


Birth Stories: Arts for Health and Wellbeing’ is a creative enterprise that uses digital storytelling to explore various childbirth experiences. The project is interdisciplinary, connecting arts, health, and technology. Birth Stories combines the creativity and well-being of mothers and leads them through a process of digital storytelling. By creatively using personal narratives of childbirth, the project has transformational power for the individual, while dissemination of the stories impacts healthcare providers. A particular focus will be on migrant mothers who have decreased social capital (no family or community) and different expectations of childbirth due to discrepancies in obstetrician practices across the EU and the world. One of the CCE’s main challenges is that women leave the profession once they become mothers (even more prominent after the pandemic). This project wants to offer new insights into how to enable participation and access.