Elena Oumano, Ph.D., book author, music journalist, lecturer

The Woodstock Museum: Because You Weren't There A myth, and a vivid reality, await you

It was high summer—rock 'n' roll season—and we were just uncomfortable enough with our dull and repressive landscape to work up that friction into a rush of revolutionary blood, and then kick it off with a party. For the nearly half-million revelers at the 1969 Woodstock Music & Arts Fair—and the many more who either wish they'd been there or have convinced themselves over the decades that they actually were on Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel, New York, for those three days in August— Woodstock was the most vivid proof possible of a larger dynamic at work.

Selected Works

nonfiction book
From "Cinematic Rhythm & Structure": Cinema’s ability to defy ordinary limits of time and space means that a film’s structure can be as complex as an architectural space with various angles of entry and points of view, hidden rooms, and twisting, turning passageways. Some films are labyrinths in which the viewer searches for resolution, a way out, while other films are like big empty rooms in which everything is visible.
magazine article
I was there myself in '69, hired to oversee ticket-taking, and since there were no fences, I wound up backstage, eating grapes, drinking champagne punch, and dipping my pinkie into a vial of Orange Sunshine with one of the acts and his entourage. It would be more accurate to say that I dream Woodstock whenever I think about it, rather than remember it. http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-06-03/music/you-weren-t-there-then-so-go-there-now/
Great cinema seduces us with details, and Melville's a masterful image maker, prone to deeply shadowed, ravaged faces and urban landscapes, barren hotel rooms and dazzling nightclubs. His damaged but honorable thieves, uniformed in trench coats, fedoras, and cigarettes, are betrayed by interchangeable femme fatales sporting cat's-eye maquillage, pencil skirts, and stiletto heels as they act out their unvarying role: agent of fate in the protagonist's inevitable destruction. http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-07-29/film/six-decades-of-french-noir-come-to-film-forum./
Every dawn, as sunlight glinting off the top spire of the Empire State Building streams through the skylight positioned just over Flash Rosenberg’s bed, she springs up, eager for the fun of doing Flash work. She’s an award-winning filmmaker, a 2011 Guggenheim fellow in film and video, a performer in storytelling venues like Monologues and Madness and The Moth and a poet with Brevitas, and her audio snapshots—“Flash Moments”—were a daily public radio feature.
Magazine article
Magazine Articles
Free speech, cultural sovereignty, and human rights clash in reggae dancehall homophobia debate
Music Writing
Insights from an insider into Caribbean and African culture and music.
Nonfiction
From Altman to Godard to Scorsese, Oumano interviewed the world’s greatest auteur filmmakers on the primary issues of filmmaking then edited their responses into a revolutionary "you are there" symposium format.
Authored by a popular psychologist and New York City talk show host and ghosted by Oumano, this title addresses relationship issues faced by men and women in the African-American community.