India / Dubai / GTA
Shalaka spent her childhood between cities in India and Dubai, before moving to the Greater Toronto Area. She is wrapping up her degree in urban planning at the University of Waterloo and will be moving on to graduate studies in cultural studies and curatorial work at the University of Winnipeg. As a twice-over immigrant, Shalaka is interested in pursuing questions around value relating to power and authority, and how to move towards reconciliation through climate justice. Shalaka often finds herself at the intersection of research and analysis, and employs design thinking to communicate data clearly, empathetically, and with an emphasis on accessibility to the public. In the past year, she worked in an editorial role to launch the inaugural issue of Textile, a magazine focused on uplifting and prioritizing underrepresented voices in the Region of Waterloo, during which she developed and executed workshops for youth. Shalaka is interested in how arts-based methodologies can provoke new collaborations and insights, and has worked with elders from Saddle Lake Cree Nation and graduate students at the University of Alberta to produce an augmented reality installation that prioritized Indigenous approaches to knowledge and storytelling. She has also produced a museum exhibit evaluating decent work and migrant worker justice as part of an interdisciplinary design team, and worked in the planning departments for several municipal governments. When she isn’t studying the menus of local restaurants, she can be found plugged into a podcast.