Shalaka spent her childhood between cities in India, and in Dubai, before moving to the Greater Toronto Area. As a twice-over immigrant, Shalaka is interested in pursuing questions around value relating to power and authority.
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 along a portion of the Haldimand Tract (Waterloo Region), during which she developed and executed workshops for equity-seeking youth. Currently, she is working with Textile to support a series of talking circles for urban Indigenous youth on themes of space under the support of Pins and Needles Fabric Company. 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 co-produced a museum exhibit evaluating decent work and migrant worker justice as part of an interdisciplinary design team, and worked in the urban planning departments for several municipal governments. She has performed work at the 2019 Common Waters festival.
Trained as an urban planner, she hopes to follow the advice of aptitude tests to pursue curatorial studies. She’ll likely point out the names of “weeds” as you walk together, enjoys studying the menus of local restaurants for fun, and always orders dessert.