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UAE: World’s largest photography festival kicks off in Sharjah – News

UAE: World’s largest photography festival kicks off in Sharjah – News

Xposure will host the largest exhibition ever featuring more than 100 leading photographers, plus 68 solo and group exhibitions totaling 1,794 images

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published: Thursday, February 9, 2023 at 11:06 pm

The seventh edition of the Xposure International Photography Festival kicked off on Thursday (09 February 2023) at the Sharjah Expo Centre. The opening ceremony was witnessed by Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council (SMC).

Organized by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), the festival will this year be its largest ever, featuring more than 100 leading photographers from around the world, as well as 68 spectacular solo and group exhibitions totaling 1,794 a photograph.

Opening the session, SGMB Director General Tariq Saeed Allay spoke about the powerful role of photography in breaking down stereotypes that lead society to wrong and inaccurate perceptions of people, countries and events.

He illustrated his statement with an awe-inspiring image of a man on horseback riding on a beautiful beach, which no one in the audience could have imagined because of the country’s persistent global image of harshness and drearyness. Palestine.

“Studying images deepens our understanding of reality and reminds us that beauty can be found even in the most challenging of situations. Beauty is everywhere and our mission is to see it, experience it and appreciate it. We aim to The message through Xposure is that photos have the power to elicit emotions and correct perceptions, while guiding our priorities as humans,” Allay noted.

“Since its inception, the festival has served as a reminder that beauty exists amidst chaos, and what has made our journey sustainable is Sharjah’s unwavering vision and commitment. And you who join us every year as art, Passionate global messengers of entertainment and creativity. Our determination to use the medium to promote noble values ​​brings us closer to our purpose. We support responsible creativity for the good of humanity, sustaining our ability to inspire, and Instill a sense of security and hope in your heart,” he added.

HH Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, was in attendance to hear from Southern California’s Dan Winters, self-taught American photographer Karen Zusman, James Balog, and other renowned photographers throughout his 40 years as a photojournalist career.

Dan Winters: ‘Photography keeps me in position’

“I started photography as a kid, from newspapers and magazines, because I grew up looking at picture magazines. During my Apollo 11 capsule project, I was photographing a space landing, but we were over budget. The editor of National Geographic once said something that still resonates with me today: “If we don’t travel ourselves, how can we expect our readers to travel? “

Adds Winters: “Photography will be 200 years old in the next three years. With mobile phones becoming image-making machines, about 50 billion images are now being produced a year. Photography plays a key role as a record.”

The portrait photographer showed the Xposure 2023 audience his vision of sports legend Michael B. Jordan, actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie and other Hollywood A-listers, as well as U.S. presidents and more He noted: “While I love these projects, my real passion has always been space photography. Photography has occupied me in so many places that I never thought I would be part of the Apollo missions since I was 7 years old.” .”

Karen Zusman: “To be an effective storyteller, I need to be a photographer”

“I got into photography later in life,” said photographer Karen Zusman, noting that poetry writing and meditation practice took her to Myanmar, where she witnessed young children being illegally trafficked for child labor terrible incident.

While looking for ways to bring global attention to this, the self-taught photographer realized she needed to document it visually. “To be an effective storyteller, I needed to be a photographer.”

Zussman’s powerful photography highlights the plight of these children working in Myanmar, bringing them an education. Her next project is in Cuba while she’s stranded in the US due to the coronavirus pandemic. While in the US, she joined the #blacklivesmatter movement in New York’s Bronx following the death of George Floyd and found herself photographing children in predominantly black neighborhoods.

From there was born her world-famous “My Superpowers” project, in which she took striking portraits of children at various beaches and gave her young subjects poetry-writing lessons, which they then wrote down Poems about superpowers they possess. The photographer will be leading the project in Zanzibar, Tanzania, followed by a small group of children.

James Balog: “Climate change is not an abstraction”

James Balog highlights today’s world of information glut and attention deficit, emphasizing that “as photographers we can use our perceptual processes to help people pay attention through captivating visual stories”.

He also talks about the unique and subtle connection between people and nature as he sifts through his archive of nature-inspired photographs. The earth science major turned the audience’s attention to a phenomenon called “human technology,” saying that “humans have the ability to change the structure of the Earth’s crust, not just earthquakes and volcanoes, because we are experiencing what NASA It’s called ‘Earth heat’. Over the past 20 years, the average temperature of the earth has risen by 1 degree Celsius per year, and even higher in some regions. Therefore, climate change is not an abstract concept.”

The photographer presents stark visual evidence through time-lapse videos of Icelandic and Canadian glaciers taken between 2007 and 2022 that have melted dramatically, sending more water into the oceans, rising sea levels, and hurricanes and floods More destructive than ever.

Following the opening ceremony, His Highness the Deputy Ruler of Sharjah took a guided tour of the festival, toured the exhibitions and met the photographers behind them, who detailed their creative process. He is also familiar with the technical aspects of images.

His Highness continued the tour, visiting the pavilions of the trade show exhibitors and sponsoring organizations who have been supporting young photographers through various events and initiatives.

What to expect from Xposure 2023

A source of inspiration for amateur and professional photographers alike, the Xposure agenda includes 41 workshops and panel discussions with leading photographers, as well as educational and entertaining events at ‘Stage X’ to increase visitor engagement with the festival. In addition, 63 workshops will enable photography enthusiasts to gain additional skill sets and expertise to click photos in different environments and locations, utilizing advanced technology and drawing on the expertise of experienced photographers who have worked in different genres of photography Travel and experience in.

One of the festival’s main events is the Conservation Summit, which focuses on climate change and the role of photography in documenting change on our planet. The festival also includes photography exhibitions for art collectors, book signings, awards ceremonies and a trade show that highlights the latest photography equipment and tools, helping photography enthusiasts and adventurers to create their projects.

Joining His Highness the Deputy Ruler of Sharjah at the opening were senior officials including Sheikh Saud bin Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Director, Sharjah Digital Office; Sheikh Salem bin Muhammad bin Salem Al Qasimi, Director, Sharjah Business and Tourism Development Authority; and Heads of other government departments, as well as international photographers, enthusiasts and media professionals.

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