Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi unveils details of Xposure 2019.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
The fourth Xposure International Photography Festival will again justify the high expectations of photography aficionados, promised its organisers.
Xposure 2019, which will be held in Sharjah from Sept.19-22, will have a packed programme featuring exhibitions, talks, seminars, workshops, portfolio reviews, competitions and trade expos.
Unveiling the programme in Sharjah on Monday, Sharjah Media Council Chairman Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi said that 357 noted photographers will share their experiences, their stories with the visitors.
“The photo is their voice and Sharjah is a cultural conduit that brings their voices into the UAE and the region. Come and live brand new experiences through photography over four days, use the festival’s unique space to see thousands of images and meet the talents who created them,” he said.
The SMC Chairman said that Sharjah is always keen to promote cultural dialogue. Xposure is another forum to further the cause as photography is a universal language and one of the most effective tools to shed light on the truth.
He added, “We hope that the fourth edition of Xposure will open our eyes to new stories, help us see the world around us closely and realise our duties towards it, and inspire us to contribute towards changing our realities.”
Tariq Saeed Allay, Director of Sharjah Government Media Bureau, reaffirmed Xposure’s importance as a facilitator of open dialogue between artists and people who come together every year to share their professional and personal experiences, and in return, gain from those of others.
“Every year, Xposure further entrenches the importance of photography, the role of the image in revealing the different aspects of life through the festival’s exhibitions, panel discussions, film screenings and workshops by world-renowned photographers and industry experts. A photographer’s life is one of the most fascinating pursuits of creativity, one of the many reasons why photojournalists continue to go to conflict zones, despite the dangers that surround them,” he said.
Xposure 2019 will showcase more than 1,112 photographs by 357 lensmen, including contributions from some of the 53 photographers attending the festival. These works will be exhibited at 46 indoor and five outdoor exhibitions featuring 38 solo galleries comprising 744 images, and eight group exhibitions with 264 images by 206 photographers.
There will also be 3 Xposure Contest/Award exhibitions with 69 images and 7 short films by 67 entrants.
The outdoor exhibitions, starting on Sept.8, will include the World Press Photo expo, with 45 images from 45 photographers, at Al Majaz Waterfront, and four different exhibitions at Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Deira City Centre and Mirdiff City Centre, with a total of 44 images.
A pre-viewing evening on Sept.18 will feature four galleries with guided tours by world-renowned photographers – Stephen Wilkes, Frans Lanting, Gabriel Wickbold and Will Burrard-Lucas.
A total of 14,757 entries were received for the international photography competition, which allows photographers from all age groups, backgrounds and experiences to enter under 11 categories, with one category being reserved exclusively for Sharjah Government staff. There is also a separate category for entrants below 18 years of age. Category-wise winners will also be chosen. Winners will be declared at the closing ceremony.
The Timothy Allen Photography Scholarship Award (TAPSA) will offer its 10-day residency programme to five winners from among the 1,269 applicants this year. Xposure 2019 will also have 17 dedicated workshops that will address various aspects of the art form, with 10 top photographers conducting the training sessions.
The show will also be a hub of learning and creativity with celebrated photography experts and leading photography companies coming together to spread their knowledge.
Xposure 2019 will introduce the Integrated Photography Studio, a great new concept to enhance visitors’ experience and give them first-hand insights into portrait photography is. Here, photography enthusiasts will be taught the techniques and mechanisms of portrait photography by professionals. They will also get the opportunity to mingle with and learn from other attendees, and take home souvenir pictures.
Sharjah Government Media Bureau launched the concept of Xposure in 2016 as an International Photography Festival that would become an annual feature in the calendar of professional photographers, photography enthusiasts, filmmakers, students and educators.
Supported by professionals and industry experts, Xposure International Photography Festival, offers many exciting prospects to learn new skills and network with leading professionals along with the opportunity to see, handle and try the latest photographic products.
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Essdras M Suarez has worked as a photojournalist for over two decades. He has received several international accolades for his coverage of headline-creating stories such as the Columbine shooting, the Boston Marathon bombing, the tsunami aftermath and his coverage of the war in Iraq, among many others.
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