Progressive Profession

Sudhir Daya welcomes you to this edition of Frontline, celebrating the UK’s LGBTQIA+ History Month with the theme of “Politics in art”

Sudhir Daya
Sudhir Daya chairs the CSP LGBTQIA+ network

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted how, in the physiotherapy community, our daily life is influenced by politics. Personally, I feel the current national political landscape is filled with populism, corruption, hypocrisy and inauthenticity. This leaves me feeling confused, angry, frustrated and sad. All I want to do is just disconnect and distance myself from it.

But then I appreciate that I cannot disconnect and distance from it.  Simply being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community is political. Me walking down the street holding my partner’s hand is a political act, however much I do not want it to be. And looking back there are more examples of this – from the way war hero Alan Turing was treated, Ted Brown’s kiss-in, the AIDS epidemic, the lasting legacy of section 28 (only removed from the law books in 2003), and progressively moving towards the Gender Recognition, Equality and Marriage Acts. 

We see clearly that politics, like healthcare, is about people and their quality of life. Physiotherapy is a scientific, evidence-based profession and while it may feel disconnected from art, I am reminded of what the Indian yoga teacher BKS Iyengar said: ‘in the beginning all art is science, and in the end all science is art’.

Art provides me with an outlet to deal with all the emotions that politics and life stir up. Art can move me. It can be analgesic, anaesthetic and amnestic. It can be catalytic, cathartic and curative. When have you been emotionally moved by a piece of art – music, dance, painting, sculpture etc? What body sensations, emotions and thoughts are elicited when you see the artwork on the cover of this edition? The cover shows the intersex Progress Pride flag draping the UK, where LGBTQIA+ members feel they belong. 

I have the privilege of working with enormously talented performing artists, including actors, musicians, dancers and circus performers. As physios, we can forget that we too are creative. 

In this edition we explore the profession’s intersection with art and politics by hearing about our LGBTQIA+ colleagues’ everyday experiences, challenges and joys and how you too can be a political, proud and progressive physio. 

Number of subscribers: 1

Log in to comment and read comments that have been added