Physiopunk Vol 1

Physiopunk emerged out of an introductory public health module for first-year students in the Bachelor program in physiotherapy at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. Throughout the module, students gradually expanded their view of physiotherapy, from its past and present individual and physical health focus toward the integration of social and ecological issues as fundamental determinants of health.

Because considering and addressing social and ecological issues is still a novelty in physiotherapy that will require considerable innovation and transformation, students were finally invited to conclude their learning by writing fictional stories about diverse futures for physiotherapy.

Drawing on planetary health, posthuman philosophy and speculative fiction genres, Physiopunk is a new approach and genre in physiotherapy futures research and transformative innovation. Physiopunk invites us to let go of established conventions and question what physiotherapy is, has been, and might be in the future, in a manner filled with creativity and genuine care for the health of everyone we share this planet with. 

To respond to the diverse and complex social, ecological and health challenges we are facing everywhere today, we will need many different visions for new physiotherapies. These visions will have to be conjured, thought about and communicated collaboratively, in many different places and many different languages. Biodiversity, socio-cultural and even linguistic diversity will all be needed in these efforts, not least because different languages transport different knowledges about and different ways to relate to the world around us.

The teaching that preceded the production of the physiopunk stories presented in this volume was delivered in a combination of Norwegian and English. While all stories were originally written in Norwegian and translated into English later, our introductory article was written in English and then translated into Norwegian.

To further open the circle of those envisioning the future with us and foster linguistic diversity and inclusion we invited four physiotherapy educators from around the world to contribute commentaries to this volume in any language of their choosing. The four commentaries by Prof Adriane Vieira, Prof David Nicholls, Joost van Wijchen and Prof Tobba Therkildsen Sudmann are presented in the final section of this volume and add invaluable reflections on the use of speculative fiction in physiotherapy and our student’s physiopunk stories.

Physiopunk Vol 1 (Norwegian version)

Physiopunk Vol 1 (English version)


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