Dylan McGarry

Educational sociologist Dr. Dylan McGarry is an independent researcher, practitioner, and artist who works trans-disciplinarily in Environmental Education at Rhodes University. His academic work revolves around sustainable rural development and transgressive social environmental learning. His artwork and creative practice is focused on empathy and he uses imagination, listening, and empathy as sculptural materials. He is educational advisor for Earth Junkies, an organization dedicated to enabling and enriching children’s capacities to engage with the natural world and develop ecological literacy skills. In 2017, he collaborated with Neil Coppen on a two-year research and play-making process to create Ulwembu. Ulwembu (isiZulu for spider web) was an immersive social learning experiment that brought diverse citizens and civil servants into a transformative and transgressive empathetic space to explore the issue of dependent drug-use in KwaZulu Natal. McGarry calls it “empatheatre,” in that it is designed to create an “amphitheatre of empathy” for all those involved.