Tanya Selvaratnam

Tanya Selvaratnam
  • Producer, Writer, Actor, Activist

Tanya Selvaratnam is a writer, an actor, an activist, and an Emmy-nominated and Webby-winning producer with more than twenty years of experience working in the areas of arts and social justice.

In 2017, Selvaratnam has been Executive Video Producer & Director of GLAMOUR Women of the Year; Associate Director of Carrie Mae Weems’s Grace Notes at the Kennedy Center in DC; and Co-Founder (with Laurie Anderson and Laura Michalchyshyn) of The Federation (wearethefederation.org): a coalition of artists, cultural organizations, and their allies committed to keeping cultural borders open.

Selvaratnam’s career in the arts and social justice began with her work assisting Anna Deavere Smith on the development of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 about the L.A. riots, and with her position as a youth organizer on the steering committee of the NGO Forum/Fourth World Conference on Women in China in 1995. In addition, she was an organizer and researcher for the World Health Organization’s Kobe Conference on Women and Tobacco in 1999. Most recently, she has produced PSAs for the ACLU, Center for Health and Gender Equity, EMILY’s List, Gays Against Guns, and Women’s March on Washington.

She is the author of THE BIG LIE: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clock; and her writing has appeared in Vogue, CNN News, Bust, Huffington Post, The Stranger, PAPER, Pop and Politics, the Toronto Review, Art Basel Magazine, xoJane, and Women’s eNews. In her various roles, Selvaratnam has been quoted in publications including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Slate, Artforum, Cosmo, Redbook, Metro, Village Voice, PAPER, The Globe and Mail (Canada), and New York. She has been a featured guest on CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, NPR, Sirius XM, Modern Hero TV, and CBS Radio News.

Born in Sri Lanka and raised in Long Beach, CA, Selvaratnam is based in New York City and Portland, Oregon.

Please visit tanyaturnsup.com.