Emel Tabaku (b. 1999) is an Albanian-Canadian and a first-generation immigrant residing on the Indigenous territory, encompassing ceded areas under Treaty 13 and unceded lands of Tkaronto, Turtle Island. 

Her interdisciplinary works are deeply engaged with aspects of her Muslim Albanian heritage tying in alternative history and layers of place to unfold and reconstruct memory through abstraction, collaging and layering of paint. Her material practice cannot be separated from the impressive depth of her research as she documents her personal struggles in shaping and archiving Balkan Muslim identities across North America.

Emel completed her BFA Honours Thesis, "On Finding Home: The Role of Reimagined Urban Spaces in One's Search for Identity and Belonging” at OCAD University, majoring in Drawing and Painting with a minor in Art History. She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Policy at the University of Toronto - Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, where she continues bridging the arts, culture and public policy to design equitable futures. 

Outside of academia, Emel Tabaku is the Founder and Executive Director of RCAD Initiative: Redefining Communities through Art + Design, a community arts non-profit organization that empowers underrepresented youth through storytelling, mentorship, and entrepreneurial training. Guided by the principles of communal care, collective solidarity, and kinship, Emel is dedicated to advancing global sustainability, human rights, and peace and security.

Moreover, Emel completed her Artist-in-Residence with Youth Climate Lab, as part of the FUTURES/forward mentorship program with ICASC/Judith Marcuse Projects where she co-created and published the #DigitalArt4Climate Environmental Advocacy Toolkit. She also served as Junior Consultant at UNDP Indonesia Accelerator Labs, and as Arts Research Lead at Green Career Centre.

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