The fourth edition of Sharjah’s popular Xposure International Photography Festival has nearly doubled with 33 interactive sessions and screenings up from 18 last year by celebrated award-winning photographers.

Hosted by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) at Expo Centre Sharjah from September 19 to 22, Xposure 2019 will host internationally celebrated photographers such as Juan Jose Reyes, Essdras M Suarez, Joe McNally, Alice Wielinga, Kathy Moran, Jeffrey Garriock and David Chancellor, among many others, who will discuss their art, craft and influences. They will also narrate the stories behind their memorable pictures, the act of capturing which often exposes them to dangers and even risk to life even as they communicate important stories to the world.

Their dialogue with the audience will take place through 27 talks and 6 panel discussions. A new dimension is being introduced this year with these sessions -- under the categories of Art, Wildlife, Photojournalism, Street, Nature and General -- being divided into four main themes -- Xpose Art, Xpose Emotion, Xpose Adventure and Xpose Life.

These sessions offer a unique opportunity for all shutterbugs, photography enthusiasts and anybody interested in the art to gain rare insights into what goes into the composition of an inspiring and sometimes life-changing image.

Discussion panels

On September 19, Juan Jose Reyes, founder and executive director of the Miami Street Photography Festival, and Essdras M Suarez, a two-time Pulitzer prize-winning photographer who will also be conducting a two-day street photography workshop at Xposure, will participate in a panel discussion about contemporary street photography titled  “Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary”. This conversation will be moderated by Chris Suspect, an award-winning and internationally renowned street photographer.

The second session will have Jeffrey Garriock, a Toronto-based cinematographer and photographer specialised in travel and documentary work, and Ron Smith discussing ‘Generations of Chernobyl’ and showing another side of issues people have made up their minds on.

On the second day, September 20, award-winning Spanish photographer Antonio Aragón Renuncio, winner of the Photojournalism award at Xposure 2018, will discuss what it takes to stand out as a photojournalist titled “The Forlon” moderated by Aidan J. Sullivan.

On September 21, award-winning photojournalist Ray Wells will moderate a discussion panel titled “Why Do It?” featuring Paul Conroy, Michael Christopher Brown and Afshin Ismaeili.

Inspiring talks

More than 53 photographers are set to participate in Xposure 2019, with many of them sharing their invaluable experiences at exciting talk sessions over the course of all four days.  

September 19

Art photographer Alice Wielinga’s talk is titled ‘What I learned from working with North Korean Artists’. Jason Hawkes discusses features of aerial photography during ‘The View from Above’.  Philip Lee Harvey’s talk ‘Fit for Purpose’ will be about photography conveying the emotion of places and people rather than functioning simply as a descriptive guide. David Chancellor’s talk titled ‘With Butterflies & Warriors’ will map the jagged and bloody line where Man and wildlife animals meet.

Somi Nwandu’s views on forging cross-cultural ties through photography will be the focus of ‘Through the Lens of Authenticity’. National Geographic photo editor Kathy Moran will speak on ‘Conservation Photography - How National Geographic Tells the Story’.

Later that day, World Press Photo winner John Moore, a senior staff photographer and special correspondent for Getty Images whose iconic image ‘Crying Girl on the Border’ galvanised American public opinion against the US government’s so-called ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy, will talk on ‘How to humanise the complex issue of immigration’.

September 20

The day will start with an enlightening session on “The Photo Project” by photojournalist Frankie Quinn. “On Assignment” with Joe McNally will have the award-winning National Geographic lensman talking about his unusual projects. Wildlife photographer Gregory Pol will relate his adventures with ‘Eyes of the Snowy Owl’. Photojournalist Ira Block will discuss ‘Exploring Cultures through Sport’. Wildlife photographer Ami Vitale will give tips on how to ‘live the story’ in her talk “Reframing the Narrative”. Artist and gallerist Gabriel Wickbold will shed light on “Resignifying Contemporary Photography”. Nature photographer Frans Lanting will present “Eye to Eye with Life”.

September 21

On the third day, Pakistani photographer and filmmaker Mobeen Ansari will talk about focusing on the history and diversity of the subjects in “The Land we Came”. Wildlife photographer Florian Ledoux will present “The Photo that Changed my Life”. Art photographer Xavier Portela will give his views on “The Importance of Personal Projects”. Photojournalist Petros Giannakouris will speak about the effect of Greece’s economic crisis in his photojournalism journey in a session titled ‘In the Middle of a Problem’. Photographer Timothy Allen will be presenting the winters of the TAPSA award.  After a break, J Tomas Lopez will speak on ‘Looking vs Seeing: How Photography Altered Perception’. Later in the day, a discussion on “Big Cats” will take place, with renowned wildlife and nature photographer Steve Winter.

September 22

On the final day, photojournalist Afshin Ismaeili will speak on ‘Searching for Stories in Conflict Zones’, followed by art photographer Richard Le Manz on ‘Don’t Take Pictures’. Wildlife photographers Cris Toala Olivares and Will Burrard-Lucas will present ‘Distinctive Diversity’ and ‘Remote Adventure’, respectively. After the midday break, Laurel Chor will present “When Your Cultural Heritage is Harmful”, Michael Christopher Brown “Yo Soy Fidel” and “Day to Night Evolution” Stephen Wilkes will present their talks.

Xposure 2019 will once again be hosting a plethora of exhibitions, trade shows, workshops, live stage demonstrations, seminars, screenings, panel discussions and everything else that is relevant and exciting in the world of photography on an area spanning 11,000 sqm. With its truly international flavour, product launches by leading photographic brands, photo walks and unique training opportunities in visual arts, Xposure 2019 is slated to be a one-of-its-kind festival in the region that celebrates the art of capturing images.

The 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 from around the world.

Source: National Network Communications- NNC

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