Sharjah's Xposure International Photography Festival 2022: five things to not miss

The event will run for a week from February 9 at Expo Centre Sharjah

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The sixth Xposure International Photography Festival will begin its week-long run on February 9 in Sharjah. Set to present more than 55 world-renowned photographers, the event will include exhibitions, talks, workshops and equipment stalls aimed at professionals and enthusiasts alike.

The festival’s talks programme covers various topics and issues in photography, with established photographers sharing insights into their process or delving into the ethical issues of war reportage and documenting climate change. All talks are open to the public and visitors can register for tickets online.

Scroll through the gallery above for some of the works being displayed at Xposure International Photography Festival.

The workshops, the prices for which range from $15 (Dh55) to $125 (Dh460), are equally varied. There are more technical and process-driven workshops centred on focal length, time-lapse, picture editing and composition, while others will take on harnessing creativity and developing the right approach to one’s subjects.

Here are five photographers to see at the Xposure photo festival:

Muhammed Muheisen

Afghan boys wrap themselves in blankets to avoid the evening cold on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. Muhammed Muheisen / AP Photo

A two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Muhammed Muheisen is known for his photographs covering the refugee crisis around the world, including Afghans in Pakistan and Syrians in Jordan who have been displaced because of the conflicts in their respective countries.

At Xposure, Muheisen is hosting a workshop titled Moments in Time, which examines aspects of visual storytelling, including the photographer’s relationship with his or her subjects. The Jerusalem-born Jordanian photographer will talk about building trust and maintaining integrity in one’s practice, including how to navigate the ethics of photography and respecting the subjects’ privacy. Moments in Time will take place on Thursday.

Diego Ibarra Sanchez

In his work, Spanish documentary photographer and filmmaker Diego Ibarra Sanchez, who lives and works in Lebanon, is determined to highlight the humanity of his subjects, no matter how violent the topic.

His projects have examined the Kafala system in Lebanon, which leaves migrant workers vulnerable to abuse; the legacy of the Yazidi genocide inflicted by ISIS in Iraq; and the horrific conditions of mental patients in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Sanchez’s workshop on February 14 will teach photographers how to produce their own long-term photo project, from developing a storytelling process to choosing the right perspective to tell the story successfully.

Biljana Jurukovski

Since childhood, Biljana Jurukovski has cultivated an interest in different cultures. This is reflected in her body of work, which primarily focuses on portraits of individuals from tribes in Ethiopia, Angola, Mongolia and South Sudan.

The Macedonian-Australian photographer has been published in magazines around the world and has earned several awards throughout her career.

For her talk, The journey of self discovery through photography, on Wednesday at Xposure, Jurukovski will talk about her path to becoming a photographer, from working in the healthcare sector in Australia to deciding to pursue photography full-time in 2014 and travelling to remote areas around the world for her images.

Jana Andert

War photography wasn’t in Jana Andert’s career plans. She had worked as a fashion photographer for six years before studying human psychology. In time, her studies led her to consider humanitarian issues, including the refugee crisis in war-torn countries. After visiting a refugee camp in Iraq, Andert's interest expanded to the conflicts that fuelled the crisis in the first place. She spent eight months on the frontline of the battle of Mosul, producing the documentary film Inside Mosul, released in 2018.

At Xposure, the Czech photographer and videographer will talk to journalist Ray Wells about her time in Mosul and the Iraqi Special Operations Forces that led the attacks against ISIS after the terrorist group took over parts of Iraq in 2014.

Her seminar Inside the War on ISIS is taking place as part of Xposure's Auditorium Events on February 9.

Alain Schroeder

With a career spanning four decades, Alain Schroeder is a multi-award winning photographer from Belgium whose images focus on social issues and the people affected by them.

His documentary photography has shed light on many corners of the world and pockets of society. He has photographed coal miners in Ukraine, kok boru festivalgoers in Kyrgyzstan, orangutan conservationists in Indonesia, ageing “grandma” divers in South Korea and women from New York’s most affluent neighbourhoods.

On February 14, Schroeder will speak about the making of two projects: his coverage of orangutan conservation efforts in Indonesia and the training of child jockeys, also in Indonesia. The photographer will take audiences through his process, from developing the idea for the works, finding the right subjects and locations, as well as the challenges he faced along the way.

Xposure International Photography Festival will take place from February 9 to 15 at Expo Centre Sharjah. More information is at xposure.ae

Updated: February 07, 2022, 12:20 PM
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