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

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


I am the Producer for The Vision & Justice Project founded by Professor Sarah Lewis. On April 25-26, 2019, there was a convening at Harvard University to bring together leading voices in criminal justice reform and the arts, including Bryan Stevenson, Elizabeth Alexander, David Adjaye, Wynton Marsalis, Ava DuVernay, Agnes Gund, Darren Walker, Hank Willis Thomas, Deborah Willis, Theaster Gates, Alexandra Bell, Jelani Cobb, Naomi Wadler, Yara Shahidi, Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean, Carrie Mae Weems, and many more.  

The UNSTOPPABLE campaign I've been producing for Planned Parenthood won a 2019 Webby Award. It was also selected by the Brand Film Festival, a celebration of the marketing industry’s finest achievements in cinematic storytelling.

On Saturday, June 22, 2019, I did a reading/performance at the Deep Water Literary Fest in Narrowsburg, New York. The theme was Grimm's Fairy Tales, and I took on "Snow White."

I produced two shows for The Shed's inaugural season. The first was "Art and Civil Disobedience" with Boots Riley (Sorry to Bother You) on May 10, which made the Highbrow-Brilliant quadrant of The Approval Matrix in New York magazine. The second was POWERPLAY with LATASHA and collaborating artists, such as Carrie Mae Weems, Nona Hendryx, Ashley August, and high school students in The Shed's civic programs, on May 18 and 19, which received a beautiful review in The Cut

On April 11, 2019, I spoke at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England, in a Town Hall organized by Sundance with For Freedoms. Moderated by Brenda Coughlin, the Town Hall included Shirley Abraham, Muzoon Almellehan, Holly Gordon, Judy Kibinge, Jennifer Pahlka, and Indhu Rubasingham.

As Executive Video Producer of Glamour Women of the Year, I was honored to make videos with Lucy Walker about Viola Davis, Betty Reid Soskin, Chrissy Teigen, Manal al-Sharif, and Kamala Harris. Please watch these videos as well as the intro video for the event, which took place on November 12, 2018.

In writing news: In May, Marin Cogan did a profile of me for The Washington Post Magazine. I wrote Kindness and Clarity for McSweeney’s. On January 22, I did a reading of this piece at a night hosted by McSweeney’s at Housing Works Bookstore in NYC. And I wrote about the Exonerated Five and Ava DuVernay's powerful series WHEN THEY SEE US for Glamour. Also, I've been cited in many recent articles about egg freezing companies and their aggressive, misleading marketing, including by Ruth La Ferla in The New York Times; Elizabeth Chuck in NBC News; and Kaitlyn Tiffany in The Verge.

For the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, I helped produce a Sundance For Freedoms Town Hall. Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, performer and choreographer Okwui Okpokwasili, Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas, artist/co-founder of Black Lives Matter Patrisse Cullors, and playwright and performer Lisa Kron (Fun Home) joined Tabitha Jackson, Eric Gottesman, and myself to talk about "Can Art Save Democracy?". Images can be seen here.

On March 3 at the International Center of Photography, I moderated a discussion with Daughters of the Movement: Gina Belafonte, daughter of Julie and Harry Belafonte; Suzanne Kay, daughter of Diahann Carroll; Stacy Lynch, daughter of Bill Lynch; Hasna Muhammad, daughter of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee; Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz; Dominique Sharpton, daughter of Reverend Al Sharpton; and Keisha Sutton-James, granddaughter of Percy Sutton. The event was featured in Amsterdam News, and Brea Baker wrote about it for ELLE magazine.

On March 29, I moderated a conversation between authors Julie Buntin, Susan Choi, and Sharma Shields at the AWP Conference in Portland, Oregon. The event was sponsored by Henry Holt/Macmillan.

On September 16, 2018, I was on a panel with Maggie Mustard, A.O. Scott, and Deborah Solomon at the Brooklyn Book Festival. The event was named by The Cut/New York as one of the most memorable moments of the Festival. You can see the video here.






Email Me:


Meg Thompson, Director
Thompson Literary Agency
115 West 29th St, Third Fl.
New York, NY 10001
ph: 347-281-7961


Soapbox: Speakers Who Speak Out, Inc.
106 Suffolk Street, #2A
New York, New York 10002
ph: 202-798-4729


Photo by Thomas Dozol.