Sharjah: The Xposure International Photography Festival is returning for its seventh edition at Expo Centre Sharjah from February 9 to 15, with organisers saying “it’s set to be the biggest and best yet”.
Organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), the festival will feature 74 world-renowned photographers and 1,794 prints on display. There will also be 68 solo and group exhibitions; 41 talks; 63 workshops and focus groups; 50 portfolio reviews, a conservation summit, photo fair, equipment trade show, book signings, and an awards ceremony.
“Xposure is a must-attend event for photography enthusiasts and industry professionals alike. With a diverse range of genres, including commercial, art, fashion, architectural, sports, space, drone, storytelling, travel and landscape, photojournalism, portraiture, short film and moving images, and street photography, the festival offers something for everyone. In addition to the inspiring sessions, photo fair, equipment trade show, and expansive exhibitions, the festival also features educational workshops, focus groups, and a grand awards ceremony,” SGMB said.
It added: “Open to all people, the festival invites attendees to explore new worlds through the lenses of celebrated photographers and experience perspectives of the world that have never been seen before.”
Power of photography
Tariq Saeed Allay, SGMB’s director-general, said: “At Xposure we have an enduring belief in the power of photography to impact the lives of people and the world around us… Over the years, Xposure has gained a formidable reputation as a comprehensive and global platform for photography and film experts to share their experiences, stimulate the consciousness of viewers and leave a lasting impression on their peers.”
He added: “We strive to create a space where attendees can learn, be inspired, and be challenged by the exceptional visual storytelling of renowned artists. We are proud to host this festival and to align ourselves with Sharjah’s vision of continuous prosperity. Our goal is to support the growth and development of talent in the region and to provide a platform for education, networking, and creativity,” he continued.
This year’s edition features more than 1,794 prints on display through 68 solo and group exhibitions, showcasing a diverse range of styles and subjects. From fine art to fashion, wildlife to everything in between, there will be something for every visitor at Xposure, SGMB said.
Filmmakers and industry experts at Xposure will be hosting a programme consisting of 41 inspiring and informational sessions to give visitors, students and professionals a chance to gain insight and experiences. These talks and discussions delivered by masters of the craft who have cemented their names in history books through their work, will cover a variety of subjects and professions giving insight into the people behind the lens.
The festival will offer a range of 63 empowering workshops designed for amateur, intermediate, and professional levels. These workshops provide attendees with the opportunity to learn from the best and elevate their skill sets, whether they are employed professionals, emerging freelancers, or hobbyists looking to expand their passion.
In addition to the immersive exhibitions and talks, Xposure will offer portfolio reviews for over 50 emerging photographers, directors of photography, and creators. Led by nine highly experienced instructors, these reviews provide registered attendees and aspiring artists with the opportunity to receive personalised feedback and guidance on their work. The festival will also host 12 focus groups, giving attendees the chance to delve deeper into specific genres and techniques and expand their understanding of the world around them.
Focus on climate change
This year Xposure continues its tradition of supporting environmental awareness through its second year of the dedicated Conservation Summit, which was added to the festival last year for the first time. The summit not only appeals to the general eco-conscious public, but also to documentary makers and enthusiasts as a source of inspiration and knowledge towards their next project. The conservation summit brings together environmental activists, passionate explorers, photographers, and changemakers from around the world, to lead panel discussions on lasting solutions and everyday acts to protect the environment.
This year’s theme is ‘Climate Change’. Photographers and experts will discuss the role of photography in preserving and protecting the natural world and the observations that have been made that record the effect we have on the world around us.
There will be a number of limited photographic prints for sale as well as signed copies of books and photographs which will serve as the perfect addition to any collection or to have in one’s home, making the festival a prime destination for art collectors, interior decorators, art lovers and die-hard fans.
There will also be a printing and framing service where visitors can choose from a huge selection of displayed works featured in the exhibitions and have their chosen works of art printed on the spot to take home.
Showcasing the latest in technology, from cameras to lighting and software, there will a trade show to network with experts in the field. Visitors to the trade show will be able to find out what’s available now, and also get inside info on what is to be expected over the next year.
The festival will culminate in awarding ceremonies recognising the best in photography and film at the International Photography and Film Awards and The Independent and Freelance Photojournalist Awards, which have received over 17,000 submissions.