Xposure & Sony Announce 2017 Festival Schedule

The forthcoming International Photography Festival (XPOSURE 2017) is a vital initiative that supports Sharjah’s cultural development in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. That was the message delivered by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council, on Monday 9th October 2017.
The statement was made during a press conference held by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) at Sheraton Sharjah to reveal the details of the second edition of XPOSURE 2017, which will take place from November 22-25 at Expo Centre Sharjah. The Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council used the event to highlight how XPOSURE 2017 was an essential element in building the creative capacity of image enthusiasts from across the region.
Attending the conference alongside Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi were HE Tariq Saeed Allay, Director of SGMB; Yuji Toyozumi, Manager of Digital Imaging at Sony Middle East & Africa, the event’s title partner; representatives of strategic partners and sponsors of the festival and a large number of local, Arab and international media representatives.
During the conference, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi said that XPOSURE 2017 would focus on building a generation of highly professional photographers who are not only aware of photography techniques but who can also convey a true image consistent with the UAE’s authentic culture and traditions so as to further enrich the local and international media.

“Since the launch of the first edition of the International Photography Festival last year, we have been furthering our efforts to place XPOSURE on the world map of creative arts. We are proud to have seen the positive outcomes of the first edition after it garnered a great deal of local and international attention that exceeded our expectations,” he said.

The Chairman of Sharjah Media Council pointed out that the festival’s vision and goal is to advance the profession of photography and support creativity. “We are fully aware of the power of photographs and their influence, especially with the increasing use of images in all social,

political and economic spheres and in both traditional and digital media” said Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi. “We have brought together the best names in the world of photography from around the globe to Sharjah to show the images they have captured of humanitarian issues, such as war victims and children and women refugees, as well as to explain how taking these photographs was such a challenge. We also want to highlight photographers who have sacrificed their lives to convey the truth to the world,” said Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi.

The Chairman of Sharjah Media Council called for action to give more attention to photographers – both amateurs and professionals – noting that the second edition of XPOSURE will see a wider participation from various stakeholders and people who are interested in photography, in view of its added environmental and sustainable development dimensions this year.

During his presentation, HE Tariq Saeed Allay revealed that XPOSURE 2017 will be held under the theme ‘Captivating Stories,’ which was chosen to highlight the power of visual language inherited in the image. He said that it would focus on the telling of persuasive stories that can constitute a source of inspiration to many people and motivate them to take action toward human, environmental and social issues. He said 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.
Yuji Toyozumi, Head of Digital Imaging Division, Sony Middle East, and Africa, said: “It is an honor for Sony to be the key sponsor of XPOSURE 2017, The International Photography Festival 2017. As a leader in digital imaging, Sony has always been at the forefront of developing, encouraging and attracting talented photo enthusiasts and professional photographers. We believe our participation at this festival is a reinforcement of our commitment to support local talent in the world of photography by empowering individuals with the tools and technical know-how to compete against the best in the world.”

XPOSURE 2017 will bring together a galaxy of renowned photographers and international and local experts to share their experiences with photography enthusiasts. The four-day event will include 26 photo exhibitions by 31 of the world’s most celebrated photographers that will be held in Sharjah and Dubai. It will also host 25 seminars and lectures that will reveal the incredible power and influence of pictures in transcending linguistic barriers and geographical boundaries.

The second edition of the festival, which extends across an area of 9,000 square metres, will feature workshops, seminars, screenings and exhibitions that are designed to raise awareness of environmental issues, including natural life, animal rights, conflicts over natural resources and humanitarian issues worldwide. This year’s edition will highlight the refugee issue, which will be depicted through captivating images, some of which have won prestigious international prizes. These images were captured by the lenses of 31 photographers from the UAE, Egypt, Palestine, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, South Africa and others.

Among the prominent photographers participating in XPOSURE 2017 will be Egyptian-Korean photographer and filmmaker Abdul Rahman Gabr, who is interested in documenting people and places in Egypt, and Emirati photographer and documentary filmmaker Ali Khalifa bin Thalith, the first Arab to win the Professional Photographer Leadership Award for his work.

Other celebrated photographers include Palestinian Muhammed Muheisen, who won the Pulitzer Prize twice and the British Time Magazine Award; British sports photographer Bob Martin, who is a three-time winner of the prestigious British Sports Photographer of the Year; South African Brent Stirton, one of the world’s most famous wildlife photographers and British multi-award winning travel photographer Timothy Allen.

Also participating in XPOSURE 2017 will be Beno Saradzic, a winner of the Gold World Medal at the New York Film Festival; Canadian photographer and filmmaker Paul Nicklen, a recipient of more than 30 international awards; American award-winning photographer and photojournalist Eli Reed, best-known for his works as a war photographer in Lebanon, Panama and Haiti.

Other renowned photographers participating will be American Kathy Moran, the National Geographic magazine’s first senior editor for natural history projects; drone-photography expert and pioneer, her compatriot Elia Locardi who is one of the most followed photographers on social media and British Sir Don McCullin, who worked as a war photojournalist in Lebanon, Northern Ireland, Viet Nam and Cambodia.

On the new highlights at XPOSURE 2017, Allay said there will be a special gallery to showcase up to 50 images by emerging and new photographers and amateurs, whose work will be displayed alongside international photographers.

For the first time in 20 years in the UAE, the 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 published his works in Vogue magazine and The Sunday Times. The four-day event will also see live demonstrations of underwater fashion photography sessions by photographer Zena Holloway, as well as tours of picture shooting on November 10 and 17.

XPOSURE 2017 will house 26 photo exhibitions by 31 photographers who will display exclusive works in specified copies for sale. Participating in these exhibitions is Britain’s most celebrated war photojournalist 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 20 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 satellite photography exhibitions open to the public will take place at four locations outside its main venue, including Al Majaz Waterfront, City Walk, and Mall of the Emirates. The exhibitions include the World Press Photo Winners 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.

Emphasising its role in education, training, and development, XPOSURE 2017 will feature 15 workshops with a total 107 training hours by acclaimed photographer/trainers including award-winning Alan Ranger ABIPP. The workshops cover topics such as location lighting  and natural lighting, Aerial Drone Photography, Underwater Photography and a series of beginner courses including Composition 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 travel around the world.

Commenting on XPOSURE 2017’s photography competitions and scholarship awards, Tariq Saeed Allay said the festival’s world photography competition received 9,503 entries from 94 countries. The winners, who will be announced and honoured on the last day of the event, have been selected by a jury of internationally-recognised photographers and experts. The Timothy Allen Photography Scholarship Award received 1,076 entries from 56 countries, with five winners selected. Each one will have the opportunity to participate in a residency programme of 10 days in Sharjah, including a five-day travel workshop conducted by renowned international photographer Timothy Allen.

At the close of the conference, HE Tariq Saeed Allay and Yuji Toyozumi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that provides a framework for the partnership between XPOSURE, organised by Sharjah Government Media Bureau and Sony Middle East & Africa. The MoU defines responsibilities of both parties with regards to organising the festival, which has become one of the most prominent annual photography events in the Middle East and one that strengthens the position of Sharjah as a dynamic cultural and artistic hub.
On the sidelines of the festival, a Photographic Consumer Trade Show will be held with the participation of leading photographic brands. The retail fair will showcase the latest cameras, accessories, and equipment to the public, allowing visitors the opportunity to see, handle and try out the latest photographic products.

The XPOSURE 2017 International Photography Festival will open its doors to visitors from 10am to 10pm, except from Friday, when it will run from 2pm to 10pm. Entry is free for all ages. For more information and details of the event programme, please visit our schedule. 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.