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Two Saudi Arabia Photography Exhibitions That Revolve Around Time

Photo: Courtesy of Cortona On The Move

Two photography exhibitions, both using time as their main theme, recently opened simultaneously in Saudi Arabia. In AlUla, Saudi photographer and curator Kholood Albakr has teamed up with the Italian festival of documentary photography, Cortona On The Move, to exhibit works by Saudi and international artists as part of the AlUla Arts Festival. The collaboration is titled, ‘Past Forward—Time, Life, and Longing’ and explores themes of friendship, memory, change and the future.

Photo: Courtesy of Cortona On The Move

“Photography and AlUla go hand in glove,” says Nora AlDabal, director of arts and creative planning at the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU). “Photographers come from all over the world to capture our landscapes, heritage sites, and culture. There is already a vibrant photography community in AlUla.”


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“Photography is sculpting life with light,” said Saudi photographer and videographer Mohammad Alfaraj, during the first talk of the opening program, which includes many art activations, mentorships, and masterclasses.

Meanwhile, in Jeddah, Athr, the art gallery that has played a major role in contemporary art since 2009, presents the exhibition titled ‘The Time is Right’, which aims to tread “between the emotional and the ecological, the spiritual and the scientific, to find equilibrium between humanity and nature.” Fifteen artists are featured in the exhibition curated by Zelda Cheatle, whose previous stint in the region spearheaded Dubai Photo with the Sheikh Hamdan International Photo Award (HIPA) and the World Photography Exhibition.

Athr’s co-founder, Hamza Celafi, announced on the rooftop during the opening reception that the Saudi Arts Council (SAC) will continue with the “Jeddah Photo” initiative annually.

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