This conference aims to address and respond to some of the major challenges of our time. We are faced with cultural, political and social divides and detachment from environmental catastrophe. Otherness appears to be a growing phenomenon in the face of which we build dialogues, network, take action and respond to where we are now.

The success of these actions is based on our capacity to revisit our own percep­tions, to imagine where we are, to create new realities, to be able to empathise and be open to new emotional experiences. This conference invites you to address the question of how we can reimagine identity, otherness and the possible in today’s changing world, where the arts are not the outcome of endeavours to change the health of the world, but are intrinsic to the pro­cess.

Art, music, drama, dance are not the peripheral effect that illustrates what is happening in our world, but are core to how we understand, experience and challenge what is happening. This is evident in the places where therapists in health are using arts to facilitate new ways of seeing, where social action is driven by creative engagement, and where arts are transforming environments.