Osamah has been working with film photography since 2004.
Osamah has been working with film photography since 2004. Image Credit: Hayat Osamah

The Cortona On The Move international art festival is presenting a photography exhibition in Cortona, Italy, from this week until October 2022 featuring the works of three Saudi photographers.

They will be joined by three European photographers who were selected following their collective participation in AlUla’s first photography artist residency programme earlier this year in Saudi Arabia. The oasis of arts and creativity hosted 19 local, regional and international photographers, under the theme “Past Forward - Time, Life and Longing”.

Located 1,100km from Riyadh in the north-west of the country, AlUla is a vast area full of natural and ancient cultural heritage dating back to the Dadan, Luhyan and Nabataean kingdoms and it’s protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hussain AlSumayn
AlSumayn’s theme is “Wrinkles”, as he found a similarity between the shapes of the region’s mountains and the ageing locals’ faces. Image Credit: Hussain AlSumayn

The three Saudi photographers exhibiting their work in Italy are Hayat Osamah, Hussain AlSumayn, and Huda Beydoun.

"This brief sojourn in AlUla has changed my perspective on so many things,” said Osamah. A Riyadh-based artist, photographer and director, she uses the medium of film photography as her main format. “I came from Riyadh with an idea that I wished to turn into a reality,” she added, “only to find myself consumed by it and the difficulty of its actualisation. Throughout my residency, the more I observed, the more I saw what it was that urgently needed to be tapped into: the people, change, and how that change will affect their behaviour and impact traditions, some of which are already disappearing with our generation.”

Huda Beydoun
Beydoun focused on the people of AlUla. Image Credit: Huda Beydoun

AlSumayn’s interpretation of AlUla through imagery is called “Wrinkles”, with a focus on the people and the mountains of the region to highlight the similarities between the geological forms and the aged faces of the elderly locals.

Last but not least, Beydoun’s contribution to the exhibition in Cortona is dubbed "A Disparate Familiar” presented as a documentary tracing the day-to-day lives of a group of women artisans who congregate at Madrasat AdDeera school.