Occupational Punk Vol 3: Everyday odyssey

Read the call in Español, Français, Deutsch

The need for transformative change across healthcare and society is well recognized in light of diverse social, ecological and health crises. With this Call for Stories for Occupational Punk Vol 3, we specifically invite occupational therapy students, clinicians, educators, researchers, professional representatives, policymakers, and service users from around the world to send us: fictional stories located anytime in the future, in which the work of health and social care is deliberately focused on responding to social and ecological challenges and supporting better ways of living and being healthy together. 

To envision such futures is also to wonder how the occupational therapy profession might facilitate harmonious everyday lives in our diverse, and even multispecies communities; how we might view and support everyday odysseys through a lens of possibility and change. It is to envision new ways to navigate our everyday odyssey amidst rapid societal, ecological, and technological disruption, and to explore dynamic, malleable and transformative ways of occupying space and time. 

The deadline for sending us your Occupational Punk story is 21 September 2024. Please send us your Occupational Punk story using this google form: https://forms.gle/3u5dJ3tTf6bHvEEw9 

Click on the image to download the Occupational Punk Vol 3 Cover Art
by miucreative.com

Writing, submission, and review guidelines

We are predominantly looking for written fictional essays, though poems and other written formats are also acceptable. Stories should not exceed 1750 words and can be submitted in any language (if the language is other than English, please provide us with an additional English version). You can write by yourself or as a team of multiple authors. The use of references is possible but neither expected nor particularly encouraged. At this stage, we are not planning to publish stories written with the help of generative AI.

All stories will be reviewed by our international editorial team. The review process will not be based on high literary expectations. Though style will be appreciated, the review will more strongly focus on expressions of imagination, originality, creativity, and a sense of understanding about the complex interconnections between health, society, and ecology. Once the review process is completed, all authors, whether accepted for publication in Occupational Punk Vol 3 or not, will receive a message to inform them of this outcome and, where feasible, also some feedback on their story.

A final selection of 8-10 stories will be published in Occupational Punk Vol 3, alongside an introductory editorial and a range of invited commentaries from contributors from around the world.

Though we will not be able to support the publication of all stories you might send us, we might consider supporting the publication of some stories on a range of other platforms including the websites of occupational therapy and occupational science professional organizations, journals, and other media. Should this be possible, it will be done in collaboration with the respective author(s) and include clear links to the final published version of Occupational Punk Vol 3.

A little more about healthpunk

Out of an introductory public health module for first-year students in the physiotherapy Bachelor’s program at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, healthpunk emerged as an approach to imagine diverse futures for more socially and ecologically responsible healthcare. A collection of stories written by the first cohort of students was published bilingually in Physiopunk Vol 1 alongside an introductory editorial and a series of multilingual commentaries. One year later, this was followed by the publication of Healthpunk Vol 2 which invited healthcare professionals and students from around the world to contribute their visions for future health and care. 

One intention of experimenting with this kind of writing was to open up healthpunk as a new genre, and possibly methodology in transformative healthcare research and education. Drawing on the philosophies and genres circulating around speculative fiction and diverse international futurisms, we suggest healthpunk as a genre that can help us envision hopeful yet radically different possibilities for future health and social care beyond the parameters, logic, and politics of siloed professions, clinical environments and scopes of practice. Healthpunk is an invitation to let go of established conventions and imagine otherwise health and social cares filled with creativity and genuine care for everyone and everything we share this planet with. 

To adequately respond to the diverse, past, present and future social, ecological and health challenges, we will need many different visions, conjured up and communicated collectively, in many different places and many different languages. For this reason, healthpunk is not about the creation of unifying master narratives but the diversification of health and social care futures; not the promotion of futures based on Western colonial ideas of progress or development but pluriversal imaginaries. Healthpunk stories should not aim to present narratives intended for a new global healthcare profession of one or another type, but stories for and ideally with their local social, and ecological communities, while keeping in mind both local and global issues affecting their health.

In light of ongoing global environmental change, healthpunk draws inspiration from the genre of hopepunk. There, hope stands for the recognition that ongoing global ecological change will lead to some undesirable changes but that aspiring to better ways forward nonetheless remains valid, while punk indicates the need for something different than today’s status quo.

Insofar as there are globally relevant themes like environmental change then, other recommended anchor points to consider in the fabulation of healthpunk stories include social and ecological challenges impacting the health of people and planet, technological and digital disruption, the need to find new ways to coexist and enjoy health with all non-human forms of existence that share our world, changing demographics, changing healthcare economics and changing professional landscapes, and the central importance of traditional and indigenous knowledges and ways of life to envisioning better pasts, presents, and futures.

We look forward to reading your story and conjuring up future health and social cares with you

Your Occupational Punk Vol 3 editorial team,

Filip Maric, PhD, Associate Professor, UiT The Arctic University of Norway; Founder and Executive Chair of the Environmental Physiotherapy Association

Chantal Juanita Christopher, PhD candidate, Lecturer, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Enrique Henny, Tedes – Terapias para el Desarrollo, Chile

Nick Pollard, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Sandra Schiller, PhD, Lecturer, HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Germany


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