Xposure returns to engage global community once again: SMC Chairman - GulfToday

Xposure returns to engage global community once again: SMC Chairman


Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi (right) and Tariq Saeed Allay address the mediapersons. Kamal Kassim / Gulf Today

Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent

The fifth annual Xposure International Photography Festival is bringing to Sharjah some of the most inspiring images from across the world with 1,558 photos by 400 international photographers who have quite literally gone to the ends of the earth to capture nature’s beauty, people’s lives, historical events, and more.


Fifty-one of the world’s best photographers whose works will be part of the grand Xposure 2021 showcase, are flying in for the four-day festival, which will take place from Feb.10-13, at the Expo Centre Sharjah.


Making the announcement at a press conference on Monday, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council (SMC) Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi said that the annual photography festival is here to engage the global community once again and to reiterate that art isn’t a luxury but fulfills our need to heal.


"Xposure brings us together this year to dive into exceptional visual storytelling by the world's best photographers. These stories will not be about the pandemic, but about life; they will focus not on social distancing, but on human interaction, celebrating nature, architecture, and the farthest places imaginable on Earth. Xposure is here to engage the global community once again, and reiterate that art isn’t a luxury but fulfills our need to heal,” he said.


The SMC Chairman also announced that Xposure is gearing up to launch a special award for photojournalists with press credentials, in recognition of their fearless devotion to documenting health crises, conflicts, natural and manmade disasters.


"We owe much to photojournalists who are relentless in their efforts to offer us a window into important changes taking place worldwide, and who allow us to relate to the varied experiences of people from different countries and cultures. Their work has been far more notable in the past year, since the outbreak of COVID-19 has created unprecedented circumstances globally,” he said.


Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) Director Tariq Saeed Allay asserted that this edition of Xposure will be extraordinary at every level.


"One of reasons this edition is outstanding is because, for the first time, the festival is launching an award to celebrate the commitment of photojournalists to document key events, jeopardising their own safety at times. Moreover, this will be Xposure’s biggest edition yet - in terms of the number of photographers, number of images in our exhibitions, and even the number of competition entries. Furthermore, the festival is being staged against the backdrop of profound global changes, in continuation of its committed efforts to support image makers and their projects.”


He stressed that the world needs the creativity of visual storytelling now more than ever, and that the efforts of photographers who have been covering the development of the pandemic globally can be likened to the ones of those who have been battling COVID-19 on the frontlines. "We need awareness and beauty, we need to travel and communicate, as well as engage in dialogue - and photographers enable us to do this,” he added.


With 54 exhibitions, 21 public seminars and inspiring discussions, 14 workshops delivered by industry leaders, 8 focus groups and 14 expert-led portfolio reviews, the festival will play its role of being the biggest platform for hands-on learning and training in visual arts in the UAE and the region, once again this year. The festival will honour the emerging as well as renowned photography talents through its three awards.


With a whopping 33,187 entries that have poured in from 125 countries for 20/21 edition of the Xposure International Photography Awards, the stage for the hardest fought battle in the competition’s history has been set this season. Winners across all 10 categories of the competition will be announced at the closing ceremony of the festival on Feb.13.


Xposure’s global #homecaptured photo contest, which ran for six weeks in April - May last year, attracted 7,803 entries from 83 nations. The competition was launched in a bid to offer individuals across the world a way to stay positive and creative amid the lockdowns that were being assumed globally to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Related articles