2024, Video   
In Memory Contours, Joumaa turns to a chapter of the eugenics movement in the United States and its effects on newly arrived immigrants in the early 1900s. Specifically, she investigates the “intelligence” tests designed to identify mental deficiency, potentially leading to the detention and deportation of individuals. Departing from the 1914 U.S. Public Health Service report, Mentality of the Arriving Immigrant, Joumaa focuses on a particular mental test conducted on Ellis Island, New York, where participants were instructed to draw shapes from memory. She replicates four drawings featured in the report as case studies and juxtaposes them with close-up videos of hands recreating each sketch. Their interplay heightens a tension between drawing as a gestural expression and its instrumentalization as a measure of skill and intelligence. Joumaa's installation lays bare the discriminatory controls imposed on newcomers, and the systemic stigmatization of foreignness, linking it to inadequacy, unsuitability, and inferiority.

Text by Julia Eilers Smith

Installation Views 


       2024, Video
Mutable Cycles II explores the influx in solar energy in Lebanon following the current economic crisis. Tracing the scientific trajectory of the earth around the sun, the narration is a reflection on the notion of cyclicality within crises that emerged within the contemporary political history of the country.

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2023, Film
To Remain In The No Longer examines the architectural, social and political significance of Niemeyer’s fairground. Through archival materials, interviews with local people, 16mm and digital images of the buildings as they stand today, the film reflects on both the fraught history of this site and its connection to the ongoing financial crisis in Lebanon today.

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   2021, Video
Merging, Dissecting, Collecting is a video work that explores the concept of the reversed gaze. Using the binocular viewfinder that is thought to be a colonial tool, the images interplay between footage that were shot in Istanbul, Turkey and Tripoli, Lebanon. The former being a place where colonization emerged and the latter being a place where colonization was practiced. Juxtaposed with the sound of history lessons from school textbooks which are used in Lebanon, the work aims at revisiting the history of colonization by the Ottoman Empire in present time and how it is interpreted in contemporary educational knowledge.

2019, Video
During meetings that are held at the United Nations, speeches in foreign languages are heard by the attendees through a simultaneous interpretation – a process which attempts to translate on the fly and without breaks what is being said. The core identity of the speaker's performance is replaced with the mechanical voice of the interpreter, denying any correlation between words and emotions. This video explores the tension between the real voice intonation of the speaker and the one of the translator while questioning how such a phenomenon can affect the cognitive and emotional reception of world leaders who are responsible of resolving global political issues. Speech written and performed by Nadia Mourad Basee Taha at a UN General Assembly.