AlUla to host Cortona On The Move AlUla, a landmark narrative photography exhibition, bringing together local, regional and international artists

الاثنين - 07 فبراير 2022

Mon - 07 Feb 2022

AlUla plays host to an innovative photography exhibition from 9thFebruary to 31st March, featuring the work of 19 artists from around the world, including works by photographers from Saudi Arabia.

As part of the AlUla Arts Festival, AlUla has collaborated withCortona On The Move, the acclaimed Italian festival of documentary photography, to curate a special site-responsive experience in AlUla’sAlJadidah Village.

The first edition of the collaboration is titled Past Forward – Time,Life and Longing. where leading local, regional and international photographers will have their works exhibited on walls and courtyards, creating an exciting journey of visual narrative.

Past Forward – Time, Life and Longing is co-curated by Arianna Rinaldo, curator and artistic director of Cortona On The Move from 2012 to 2021, and Saudi-based visual artist and curator Kholood Al-Bakr. The concept at the heart of the exhibiting programme is the idea of time. Both AlUla and Cortona live and breathe the cultural legacy of their history, one in the stunning deserts of northwest Saudi Arabia, and one in the historic heart of Italy.

Cortona On The Move is known worldwide for its focus on the ‘visual narrative’ that shares stories of people and planet and celebrates creativity through images. The artworks selected for Cortona On The Move AlUla are connected to the idea of the passing of time, whether it is meant on a personal and human level, or as a global and environmental point of view. Key themes explored in the exhibitions include family, friendship, memory, change and the future.

Alongside the exhibitions, visitors can engage and immerse with a variety of activities including guided tours, meetings with the photographers, photography workshops, screenings, and social evenings open to all audiences. Industry-specific activities will also take place, such as training workshops with international photo editors and associated professions. An artist residency programmewill accompany the exhibition, including mentorship and masterclasses to foster cultural exchange and artistic development. In this way, the project aims to develop the skills of local artists and enrich the lives of visitors and communities.

Serving as a crossroads between three continents and a gateway between East and West, AlUla was built from successive civilisations and for millennia was a place for cultural exchange. RCU’s wider long-term plan is to reinvigorate, protect and preserve AlUla, with its community at the heart of its development and future.

RCU’s Director of Arts and Creative Planning, Nora AlDabal, said: “Photography and AlUla go hand in glove. Photographers come from all over the world to capture our landscapes, heritage sites and culture. There is already a vibrant photography community in AlUla and they will no doubt be very excited to engage with this programme. Our focus on the arts in AlUla has been magnified recently with many great initiatives and collaborations announced. We see this latest collaboration with Cortona On The Move as an important step as we continue AlUla’s development as a centre for creative collaboration. Photography is an essential form of the arts. The subjective nature of this art form is exactly what makes it so interesting, as it flows and changes with each artist’s perspective. Our choice to partner with Cortona On The Move was motivated by their expertise and shared values in delivering exceptional cultural experiences, and enabling creative communities and local people to be truly inspired to take their art form and interest to the next level”.

Veronica Nicolardi, director of Cortona On The Move festival said:“Collaborating with RCU in this special project dedicated to the historic and culturally rich city of AlUla is very exciting for us, especially as this is the first time Saudi Arabia is collaborating with a European festival of photography.” Arianna Rinaldo and Kholood Al-Bakr, co-curators of Cortona On The Move AlUla stated: “Past Forward promises to be a creative amalgamation of art, culture, history, and life in the form of images. The exhibited artists from across continents explore different perspectives of photography and combine a multitude of themes fusing the past with the future to produce a truly one-of-a-kind experience that draws from the cultural heritage of AlUla while looking towards its future.”

Cortona On The Move was created in 2011 from an idea of the Cultural Association ONTHEMOVE, whose aim is to disseminate and promote contemporary photography searching for new visions and original forms of visual communication. Now in its 12th edition, the festival offers continuous interaction between industry experts and fosters constant search for works that document the ongoing evolution of visual language – all of this in the exceptional setting of the Etruscan town of Cortona, in Tuscany (Italy).

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