A NEW KINGDOM - المدينة الفاضلة


Saudi Arabia is probably one of the least known and understood countries by Western societies. The country that has long been closed to the rest of the world is still perceived as mysterious and opaque.

Since June 21, 2017, when Mohammed bin Salman became the crown prince and therefore de facto ruler of the kingdom, the country has been going through a vast plan of economic changes (to get the country out of its dependence on oil) and societal reforms (women are now allowed to drive and are increasingly working, sporting and cultural events in front of a mixed audience are rising, etc.). The prince then launched numerous urban megaprojects, as well as a major communication campaign aimed at restoring the country’s image to the international community with the aim of attracting investors and developing tourism. It is therefore in a very controlled and smoothed way that we receive information and images from Saudi Arabia concerning the changes underway in the kingdom of Al Saud (royal family which gave its name to the country).

This series aims to give a more objective point of view. These photos report on societal changes, landscape and architectural mutations, the development of tourism and the country’s openness to the world by entering into a sensitive dialogue with its inhabitants and its natural or man-made landscapes, without effect of marketing or propaganda.

With the support of Wallonie-Bruxelles Architectures.