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Joyce Joumaa

Simultaneous Translation

Video, 2019 5 min, 26 sec.
Speech written and performed by Nadia Murad Basee Taha at the UN General Assembly, December 16, 2015.

During meetings held at the United Nations, speeches in foreign languages are heard by attendees through simultaneous interpretation
—a process which attempts to translate what is being said quickly and spontaneously, without breaks. The core identity of the speaker’s performance is replaced with the mechanical voice of an interpreter, obscuring the correlation between words and emotions.

This video explores the tension between the vocal intonation of the speaker, and that of the translator, while questioning how this phenomenon can affect the cognitive and emotional reception of world leaders who are responsible for resolving global political issues. Incredibly, Nadia Murad’s 2015 address to the United Nations Security Council represented the first time that the Council was briefed on human trafficking. It is equally untenable that just over one year after she escaped from sexual enslavement, her voice was replaced by that of a man. Simultaneous Translation questions this seemingly-accepted practice wherein a human voice—rich, and revealing palpable emotion, experience, and affect—is silenced by that of another, as it is all too often in broader political arenas.
Joyce Joumaa is a video artist based in Montreal. After growing up in Tripoli, Lebanon, she moved to Canada to pursue a BFA, Specialization in Film Studies, at Concordia University. She is interested in the intersection of art and politics as a means to translate images from the political climate surrounding the Mena region. Her works examine themes of exile, language, post-war memory, and post-colonial education.  Joumaa is active professionally as a film programmer, curator, mediator, and administrative and outreach coordinator with various art / cinema festivals and artist-run centres.

Joyce Joumaa


2016-Present: Bachelor in Film Studies (Honours Program) Concordia University.

Grants & Exhibitions

2019 Moumtalakat – Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery, Montreal

2019 Papyrophobia – Part of Lux Magna Festival, Montreal curated by Sundus Abdul Hadi

2019 Sites of Embodied Silence – VAV Gallery, Montreal

2018 Papyrophobia – Part of Femmes Cachées exhibited at Artgang Gallery, Montreal.

2018 Seed the Bomb at the Canadian Pavillion of Expo 67 – a project by The Alternative Denmark and the Concordia Faculty of Fine Arts.

2017 Fine Arts Students Alliance Special Project Grant for Papyrophobia

Panels & Conferences

2020 Panelist – Militantisme et cinéma: Regards de cinéastes Libanais durant la révolution, Rencontres Internationale du Documentaire de Montréal; Cinema Politica; DocQuebec

2020 Panelist – Liban: La révolution continue; Université Quebec à Montreal

2019 Panelist – Role des artistes femmes Arabes dans la scène artistique à Montréal, Festival du Monde Arabe

Cultural Work

2020 Film Programmer at Cinema Politica
2020 Administrative and Communication Assistant at Peripheral Hours, Montreal (DIY Art Space in Chabanel).
2020 Board Member and Curators Jury Member for Art Matters Festival 2020

2019 – 2020 Research assistant (Archives) to Philip Fils Aimé – Memoire on the Black Liberation movement in Montreal
2019 Intern in Cultural Mediation at Dazibao Gallery, Montreal
2019 Visions Head Programmer – Section dedicated to LGBTQPOC films showcased at the 46th Concordia Film Festival
2018 – 2019 Curator at Art Matters Festival – 2019 Edition
2019 Student Jury at Festival Longue Vue Sur le Court 5th Edition

2018 Researcher – Database on Public Art in Lebanon created by T.A.P Temporary Art Platform
2018 Administrative and Studio Assistant – Workshops and Performance created by Ali El Darsa– Exhibited at Ashkal Alwan: The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts.

2017 Intern Videographer – Cinema Politica.

2016 Outreach Coordinator – Conflict resolution project initiated by MARCH NGO, Beirut