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The Birth Project, by Katie Villa, is a response to the urgent need for women’s birth stories to be heard, shared and understood. I am developing a series of unique projects exploring birth culture , each with a different expert collaborator, placing women’s birth stories front and centre.

In the early days of the project, theatre maker/collaborator Laura Mugridge and I shared our birth stories, & those of other women we knew, & found that no matter what kind of a birth you had, there seems to be no place for the story outside of the first few weeks of parenthood. One of us experienced birth trauma & post natal illness, one of us had a textbook birth. Neither of us felt we could talk about it. Where do all those untold stories go? How can we ever measure up to the accepted narratives around childbirth, prevalent in the media & advertising? And what price are we paying for our silence? 1 in 5 new mothers will suffer from a mental health disorder & suicide is the 2nd leading cause of maternal death.

And so Laura Mugridge and I set out to make WILD, the first work of The Birth Project, a theatre show that placed our sometimes opposing, sometimes parallel, birth stories in the context of the toxic narratives we are all surrounded by.

Alongside this I have launched STITCH, in collaboration with artist Anna Aroussi, a participatory textile arts project resulting in a pop up exhibition that is currently touring alongside WILD. STITCH will keep growing for as long as the project runs, as audiences are invited to add their own artworks to the exhibition.

I don’t know exactly where this project will take me, or what form all the individual artworks will take. As the project grows I will explore new artistic forms & work with different groups of people.

The Birth Project is in its early days, so if there’s anything you would like to know that you can’t find out on these pages, then please get in contact. I would also be very interested to hear from anyone interested in collaboration or a sharing of ideas. So for this, or for any booking enquiries for WILD & STITCH, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.