XPOSURE 2016, Sharjah’s first-of-its-kind international photography festival hosted by Sharjah Media Centre (SMC) under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, concluded last night at Al Majaz Amphitheatre. The four-day festival brought together professional and aspiring photographers, weekend visitors, school students and photography enthusiasts.
The closing ceremony commenced with exciting theatrical performances and laser shows that thrilled the audience.
Speaking about the significance of hosting events like XPOSURE in today’s technology-driven world, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi said: “Over the past few decades, photography has transcended functionality and evolved into one of the most universal forms of artistic expression – everyone is a photographer today.”
He added: “XPSOURE was initiated to provide professional photographers, as well as amateurs and enthusiasts in the region with an opportunity to experience the best the world has to offer, drawing from the knowledge of masters in the field. Sharjah has uniquely positioned itself as the cultural hub of the region, and we pride ourselves on keeping pace with the rapidly changing realities of our time. The success of XPOSURE’s first edition reiterates the relevance of the initiative and validates the hard work of several people behind the scenes who put in tireless hours to create an event of this calibre.”
In his address on behalf of fellow lens men and women who participated in XPOSURE 2016, ace photographer David Yarrow thanked the organisers for the generous hospitality and impeccable arrangements made throughout the four-day festival.
The 15 winners of a photography competition that drew global participation across various categories to mark the opening of the festival received cash awards and best-in-class Canon products at a special award ceremony. The event also recognised the efforts of a wide group that contributed to the success of the festival in its first year, including the eminent panel of guest photographers, partners and sponsors, media representatives and team members. Some 30 lucky winners walked away with great prizes of Canon products and four airline tickets.
In addition, the festival provided seven photography enthusiasts with the opportunity to participate in a travel workshop conducted by award-winning photographer Timothy Allen.
Speaking on the occasion, Tariq Saeed Allay, Director of Sharjah Media Centre, said: “The idea of a photography festival emerged about a year ago. It began as a dream that has taken the shape of this incredible festival due to the support of a committed team and a visionary leadership. The response to the first edition of XPOSURE has been overwhelming. It was indeed a privilege to bring together some of the finest names in the world of photography on one unified platform that facilitated the sharing of experiences with visitors and participants.”
He added: “We commend and deeply appreciate our sponsors for their unstinted support. I personally thank the various teams involved and members of Sharjah Media Centre, whose tireless efforts have made an event of this magnitude possible. We are extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve in the first edition of the festival and look forward to notching up many more milestones in the years to come.”
Canon, a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business and industrial digital imaging solutions, was a main sponsor and partner of XPOSURE 2016. Anurag Agrawal, Managing Director, Canon Middle East, said: “Canon was proud to join hands with Sharjah Media Centre in organising XPOSURE 2016. At Canon, we endeavour to deliver the highest standards in imaging through our newest advances in digital solutions. In showcasing these cutting-edge technologies at XPOSURE 2016, we aimed to further build the skills of photographers and photo enthusiasts.”
XPOSURE 2016, a pioneering event in the region, drew the participation of some of the greatest names in the field of photography. Anaïs Conijn, Exhibitions Manager and Curator, World Press Photo, said: “The first edition of XPOSURE has surpassed all expectations in terms of scale, the meticulously structured programme agenda, and the warm hospitality we enjoyed in Sharjah. It has been an honour to represent photojournalism across a wide number of styles and formats. XPOSURE greatly enriches the photography landscape in the region and World Press Photo looks forward to many more editions of this distinctive festival.”
Visitors had the opportunity to attend seminars, screenings and panel discussions hosted by renowned masters from the world of photography. Workshops conducted at the festival ranged from beginner to advanced masterclasses with experts and received huge response.
XPOSURE 2017 is set to bring on board an even bigger talent pool and comprehensive agenda of photography-focused events.