Cortona On The Move AlUla

The first international edition of Cortona On The Move AlUla was launched in February 2022 in AlUla, Saudi Arabia, a collaboration with Arts AlUla, part of the Royal Commission for AlUla.
Following the successful festival – which saw photographs by 19 international artists exhibited in the emerging arts precinct of Aljadidah Village in AlUla – a 21-day artist residency invited three Saudi and three European ( Dutch, Italian and Slovakian) photographers to create works inspired by the rich heritage and culture of AlUla. Mentors – Kholood AlBakr, François Hébel, Nathalie Herschdorfer, Corinne Noordenbos, Arianna Rinaldo, and Gaia Squarci – guided the six photographers both remotely and in-person with masterclasses and training sessions. The resulting works are proudly on display during the Cortona On The Move 2022 edition.

“The challenge has been to produce meaningful work in a charged context like the visually astounding location of Alula without falling into the pitfalls of the picturesque or the photographic hagiography. The artists have been free to choose their approach and have had at their disposal the experience, knowledge and guidance of the mentors.” Paolo Woods

Hussain AlSumayn

The relationship of humans to their environment is not only a spiritual relationship. It is a kind of genetic relationship which puts in symbiosis the nature of the environment with the nature of its people. For his project Hussain AlSumayn photographed the people of AlUla and the mountains surrounding the city, revealing similarities between the forms of the landscapes and human features. He recorded how in old age, people and nature come to look alike in their “wrinkles”.

Hussain AlSumayn (1992, Dammam, Saudi Arabia) is a photographer and video-maker. In 2019 he created the first Phone Photography Tour in Saudi Arabia.

Huda Beydoun
A Disparate Familiar

Initially Beydoun was hesitant when she approached this project in AlUla: visually it seemed like the polar opposite of what she is used to work with. She sought to understand everything she could about AlUla in her time spent there: the people, the space and the hidden customs that govern them both. So, the intent behind the project was to bridge the familiar with the novel. During her search, she came across the Madrasat AdDeera, a school where women practice a range of handicrafts. The experience photographing the day-to-day of these women shaped much Beydoun’s project.

Huda Beydoun (1988, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) is a visual artist, she uses painting and she works with mixed media and photography.

Martin Kollár
Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

For Martin Kollár, encountering the raw physicality of the desert was a fascinating experience. He discovered the desert in AlUla as a storage place of the rejected, conserved and untouched, where inscriptions engraved into the ancient sandstones existed alongside yesterday’s graffiti. Abandoned objects in the desert were transformed into a future archaeological warehouse.

Martin Kollár (1971, Zilina, Slovak Republic) exhibited across the world, including at Brooklyn Museum of New York, Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne.

Hayat Osamah
Fast – Paced

This little journey in AlUla has changed the perspective of Hayat Osamat on a lot of things. She came from Riyadh with an idea to make it into reality but she was consumed by it and the difficulty of making it. Then, throughout the residency, the more she observed, the more she saw what was urgent to tab into: the people, the change and how that will affect their behaviours. One of the finest experiences she has lived, was the trust and generosity she received from a poet, his name is Falah Ameed Al Khamali, who lives in his tent hours away from all the change and noise of civilization.

Hayat Osamah (1993, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) is a Saudi Arabian Riyadh-based artist, photographer and director. She has worked with major worldwide publications including Vogue, Vogue Arabia and GQ Middle East.

Eleonora Paciullo

Eleonora Paciullo titled her project المرأة (Almar’a) which means ‘woman’ in Arabic s it is about the Saudi Arabian women she met in AlUla. Her desire to know more about these women stems from her interest in discovering new cultures and traditions concerning women’s lives. The photographs she took during the artistic residency in AlUla represent her encounters and impressions of the women of AlUla.

Eleonora Paciullo (1993, Turin, Italy) is an Italian photographer, book designer and photo-editor of The Light Observer magazine.

Awoiska van der Molen
Under Land

The photography of Awoiska van der Molen arises out of her desire to penetrate into the core of the isolated world in which she photographs. To create her images, she returns to human native territory: unspoilt nature with its natural rhythm. The author says: “I experienced this primordial space while walking through the desert and oases of AlUla. Blinded by sun and by darkest nights, I entered into the liquid world this desert once was.”

Awoiska van der Molen (1972, Amsterdam, Netherlands) is a Dutch visual artist and photography is her main tool. She has published three books: “The Living Mountain” (2020), “Blanco” (2017) and “Sequester” (2014).

Under the patronage and with the contribution of

Main partner

With the contribution of


Charity Partner