The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) partnered with the French Agency for AlUla Development (Afalula) to create the first artist residency programme in AlUla. This edition, operated by Manifesto, was an eleven-week production and research-based residency (1 November 2021 - 14 January 2022) focused on the oasis.
Six artists from different backgrounds and nationalities participated in the first AlUla Artist Residency: Rashed AlShashai, Sara Favriau, Talin Hazbar, Laura Sellies, Muhannad Shono, and Sofiane Si Merabet.
The residency was based on collaborations between the artists and a range of experts. Their weeks of exchanges and on-site research gave them insights into the heritage, nature and cultural meaning of the oasis. Throughout this process, the local community had a vital role in sharing the knowledge and skills of their land. In parallel, the artists, the experts, and the local community participated in a dynamic and regular public programme.
The Oasis Reborn edition was the first step towards building a continual programme of artists in residence – a key aspect in the long-term endeavour to nurture a flourishing creative industry and cultural economy in AlUla, continuing a legacy of the region being inspired and built by artists.
The ‘Oasis Reborn’ Exhibition was opened to the public from 8 February to 31 March 2022 to present the artists’ research, and the works they created during the first AlUla Artist Residency.
Located in the palm-grove of Mabiti AlUla, the exhibition invited visitors and residents alike to immerse themselves in the cultural oasis of AlUla and discover new perspectives on this ancient landscape.