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Xposure 2021 brings world to Sharjah


The fifth annual Xposure 2021 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.

Fifty-one of the world’s best photographers whose works will be part of Xposure 2021 are flying in for the four-day festival, which will take place from 10th to 13th February, 2020, at the Expo Centre Sharjah.

With 54 exhibitions, 21 public seminars and inspiring discussions, 14 workshops delivered by industry leaders, eight 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.

The complete roster of events was unveiled at a press conference in House of Wisdom on Monday, by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB).

Attended by a host of Arab and international journalists, media professionals and a group of photographers participating in the festival, the press meet was held in the presence of Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council (SMC), and Tariq Saeed Allay, Director of the SGMB.

Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi announced that the festival 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. He said, “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.”

Underscoring the festival’s message this year, he noted, “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 life; they will focus not on social distancing, but human interaction, celebrating nature, architecture, and the farthest places imaginable on Earth.”

Responding to a question from Tariq Saeed Allay, about his relationship with photography and what Xposure meant to him, Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi said, “I love photography because it documents the beauty of our world. It is a common language among peoples, and finally, it brings together millions of people from different cultures who appreciate and practice this art. I believe in colours and their effects on our emotions. A world without colours is one without beauty.”

“One of the 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 safety at times. 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,” Allay asserted.

Eight slogans to enlighten, inspire and engage Presenting the rationale behind the selection of eight different slogans, Sheikh Sultan Al Qasimi stated, “All previous editions of Xposure carried one slogan. This year we chose eight to emphasise all the messages the festival has imparted since its inception five years ago. These messages, which have shaped Xposure into one of the most successful photography events in the world, we choose to reiterate this year. Here at Xposure, We Love Photography We Host Experts We Support Talents…We Enlighten Minds We Believe in Colours We Celebrate Art We Come Together to make life inspiring, engaging and exciting.”

Xposure is hosting its biggest edition yet, with 1,558 photographs by 400-plus lens professionals, including contributions from 51 photographers who are attending the four-day festival. These works will be exhibited at 54 indoor exhibitions featuring 41 solo galleries and 13 group exhibitions.