By Solomon Nda-Isaiah, Abuja
World-famous camera professionals, photo-journalists and digital artists come to Sharjah for four-day event that takes place November 22-25
The forthcoming Xposure 2017 International Photography Festival, which takes place from November 22-25 at Expo Centre Sharjah, is bringing together a galaxy of locally and internationally-renowned photographers who will be sharing their expertise to help the region’s enthusiastic shutter bugs take more engaging images. A total of 32 acclaimed camera exponents will be taking part in the festival, which will be revealing the art behind framing the perfect shot.
The four-day Xposure 2017 will feature 23 exhibitors, 35 workshops and 25 seminars covering ecological topics, humanitarian subjects and social issues, with the sessions revealing the incredible power and influence of pictures in transcending linguistic barriers and geographical boundaries.
Hosted with the aim of improving the art of photography in the UAE, Xposure 2017 is being held under the theme ‘Captivating Stories,’ a tagline which was chosen to highlight the power of visual language inherited in the image. The festival targets professionals, amateurs, university students, school pupils and photojournalists, as well as those who are happy not to get behind the lens but who are nevertheless interested in how images can influence others.
Now in its second edition, this year’s Xposure extends across an area of 9,000 square metres, with its array of components designed to raise awareness of environmental issues that include natural life, animal rights and conflict over natural resources. The festival will also be bringing to the fore humanitarian issues, with this year’s edition highlighting the refugee issue depicted through numerous powerful images, some of which have won prestigious international prizes. Ultimately, the festival aims to tell persuasive stories that can be a source of inspiration to people and motivate them to take action towards human, environmental and social issues.
Sharjah Government Media Bureau Proud to Play a Role
Organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) with the event’s title partner, Sony Middle East & Africa, Xposure 2017 is a vital element that supports Sharjah’s cultural development in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah. His Highness’s vision is to increase citizen engagement with the creative arts in recognition that it is a key driver for the building of a knowledge-based economy and a powerful tool for intercultural dialogue.
“Xposure 2017 will help produce a generation of highly professional photographers who are not only aware of advanced photography techniques, but who can also convey a true image consistent with the UAE’s authentic culture and traditions. This will help disseminate accurate portrayals of the region and help prevent stereotypes being propagated,” said Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council
He added: “The festival has seen us bring together the best names in the world of photography from around the globe to Sharjah to show the images they have recorded of humanitarian and ecological issues, to explain how taking these photographs was such a challenge and to share their award-winning skills and techniques with keen amateurs.”
A Host of Exhibitions from a Galaxy of Camera Stars
For the first time in 20 years in the UAE, the Xposure festival will host the World Press Photo exhibition, which will be held alongside portrait photography sessions conducted by British portrait and fashion photographer Clive Arrowsmith, who has had his works published in Vogue magazine and The Sunday Times.
Xposure 2017 will house 12 photo exhibitions by the 32 photographers participating, who will display exclusive works in specified copies for sale. Participating in these exhibitions is Britain’s most celebrated war photojournalist Sir Don McCullin, who will be revealing his personal platinum collection of his most powerful and unforgettable images. Canadian nature photographer Paul Nicklen will showcase a selection of more than 12 large size images in a special edition, while Palestinian photojournalist Muhammed Muheisen will have 12 photos titled ‘Faces from Sharjah’ exclusively displayed at the festival.
As part of Xposure 2017, a number of smaller satellite photography exhibitions will take place at four locations outside its main venue, including Sharjah International Airport, Al Majaz Waterfront, City Walk and Mall of the Emirates. The exhibitions include the World Press Photo Exhibition 2017 and a display by Sea Legacy, an environment Foundation dedicated to raising awareness about ecological issues, global warming and environmental protection. Other exhibitions include ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’ by Emirati photographer and documentary filmmaker Ali Khalifa bin Thalith and ‘1/1000s’n by British sports photographer Bob Martin.
Photo Fair Zone to Juxtapose Professional and Amateur Images
Xposure 2017 will also feature a special gallery that will showcase more than 50 images by emerging, new and amateur photographers whose work will be displayed alongside their more celebrated peers. The ‘Photo Fair’ zone with its 53 display panels will highlight the talents of budding camera experts alongside those of the 32 internationally-acclaimed photographers from around the world who are participating at the festival.
An Array of Workshops and Tutorials
Emphasising its role in education, training and development, Xposure 2017 will feature 35 workshops with more than 350 participants covering topics such as location and natural lighting, studio lighting, underwater photography and product photography. The event will also include 25 seminars and lectures given by an elite group celebrated photographers, with a focus on interesting topics such as the legal rights of photographers and how to adopt photo-winning strategies. The speakers will also be sharing their personal experiences from their activities and travels around the world.
Winners of the “Timothy Allen Photography Competition” at Xposure 2017
As Xposure 2017 aims to position itself as an international school for professional and advanced photographers, graduating the best and most elite of photographers across multiple fields, the second edition of the festival is set to showcase the works of five winners from the “Timothy Allen Photography Scholarship” programme.
Out of the 1,076 nominations, only the best five have been chosen to take part in an exclusive 10-day residency programme, including an intensive location workshop with multi-award winning travel photographer Timothy Allen. The winning images would be prominently exhibited in a dedicated space during the 4-day festival.
The scholarship is an Xposure initiative launched during the first edition of the festival last year to promote the importance of professional training in photography and to develop the winners’ technical and artistic skills. As an increasingly significant industry event, Xposure provides the winners with an opportunity to create their own path to international recognition.
Timothy Allen started his career in photography after years of studying zoology, conducting ecological research in the field and visiting hundreds of cities and islands around the world. He has received many of the world’s most prestigious photography awards including Travel Photographer of the Year – seven times winner; Picture Editors’ Award – six times winner; Press Photographer of the Year Award; and Arts Photographer of the Year.
Xposure 2017 brings environmental responsibility as its focal point
Sharjah’s premiere international photography festival will use its platform as a lunch pad for numerous works, messages and powerful stories on environmental and humanitarian issues.
Leading artists from across the world, with some being world renowned photographers from National Geographic, will land in Sharjah to share their captivating stories on environmental responsibility, wildlife conservation, animal welfare and the protection of our world’s oceans.
Among these leading photographers are: Canadian photographer, biologist and conservationist Paul Nicklen, who aims to instill among visitors emotional values on our current ecological system, the award-winning and one of the leading former photographers at National Geographic, Jodi Cobb, gears up to share her stories on several environmental issues during her global expeditions.
Cristina Mittermeier, also an award-winning photographer from Mexico, will introduce her take on environmental responsibility through her visual teachings on the cultures of man and nature, while Brent Stirton, one of the world’s most renowned environmental photographers from South Africa, will focus his exhibition on shedding light on various environmental matters, such as sustainability, health and climate change.
Joining them are some of the giants and godfathers of the industry, which include Marcus Bleasdale, Kathy Moran and David Anthony Hall, of whom will all contribute to the massive awareness initiative on environmental responsibility.
The Xposure 2017 International Photography Festival will open its doors to visitors from 10:00am to 7:30pm, except on Friday when it will run from 3:00pm to 7:30pm. Entry is free for all ages. For more information and the details of the event programme, please visit: www.xposure.ae. The latest updates and details about the exhibitions, seminars and workshops taking place can be had by following the event on social networking platforms via: hashtag #xposurexpf.