Selecting five entries from a record 1,600 entries for their ingenuity, originality and excellence in visual storytelling, the 5th edition of International Photography Festival – Xposure, has announced the winners of its premier Timothy Allen Photography Scholarship Award (TAPSA). The winners have been selected for Xposure’s fifth edition, which will be taking place in Sharjah from February 10 – 13, 2021, at the Expo Centre. 

Winners were announced at a live streaming virtual ceremony on Facebook held on Tuesday, October 27 by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), organisers of Xposure, the most significant photography and imaging show in the MENA region. 

The TAPSA winners for the fifth edition of Xposure are: Michal Novotný from the Czech Republic for ‘Faces of Faith’, an exploration of manifestations of faith across the globe; Kiran Ridley from Great Britain for his extensive coverage of an unfolding political crisis titled, ‘Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protests: The Revolution of our Time; and F.Dilek Uyar from Turkey whose ‘In Epicentre of COVID-19’ documents the work of frontline workers at the intensive care unit of her local hospital. Also on the winner’s list this year are Ata Ranjbarzeydanlou from Iran who explores the lives of poor, garbage collectors in ‘Living Among the Garbage’; and freelance Russian photographer Natalia Gorshkova’s evocative tale of people challenging the odds titled, ‘Spin Control’.

Speaking about the winning photographs, globally renowned British photographer, Timothy Allen, in whose name the scholarship has been established, said: “This year I have been particularly captivated by Michal Novotný’s incredible body of work exploring religious faith around the world and Kiran Ridley’s phenomenal reportage from the pro-democracy uprisings in Hong Kong.”

“Every year I consider it a rare privilege to have the opportunity to judge such a large body of photographic excellence from around the world, and this year’s selection will highlight exceptional talent originating from Iran, Turkey, Russia, The Czech Republic and the United Kingdom. Originality is a key attribute of our successful applicants, along with an unmistakable passion for visual storytelling,” he added.

Allen further opined: “Addressing the defining story of 2020, F. Dilek Uyar’s haunting images from Turkey’s COVID-19 epicentre are both brutal and delicate in their depiction of the suffering, whilst Natalia Gorshkova’s uplifting photographs of the All-Russian wheelchair basketball team reveal the power inherent in the ability to tell a story with simplicity and humility. My final selection, Ata Ranjbarzeydanlou’s story ‘Living Amongst The Garbage’ exhibits the kind of enduring and unmistakable visual language and intimacy that I consider the mark of a great photographer in the making and I look forward to welcoming him and our other four winners to Sharjah in February 2021 for the scholarship programme.”

All five winners of the prestigious scholarship will receive a 10-day travel package to Sharjah, which will include their attendance of Xposure 2021 from February 10 – 13,. During their stay, they will be participating in  five-day location workshop led by Timothy Allen where they will have the opportunity to discuss their works. They will also undertake special assignments, have their portfolios reviewed, attend one-to-one coaching, location photography training and the opportunity to present their work and story to a live audience in the main auditorium during the four-day Xposure 2021 festival, which is considered the largest-of-its-kind photography event in the region.  

Stating that TAPSA has been continuing to grow in strength each year, he added:  “At TAPSA we aim to support and reward up and coming photographers or those who are already well established but, we believe, deserve to benefit from the extra exposure and opportunities that this scholarship can provide.”

Scholarship winners will also benefit from opportunities to meet some of the great names in photography and receive an additional portfolio review from a leading Director of Photography or Photo Editor and attend seminars and workshops.

Hosted by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), Xposure International Photography Festival is widely attended by the world’s most acclaimed photographers, leading media and film professionals, photography enthusiasts, students, and educators.

Source: National Network Communications (NNC)



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