Attend a talk by photographer Steve McCurry at Xposure photography festival in Sharjah

Attend a talk by photographer Steve McCurry at Xposure photography festival in Sharjah

For its sixth event, the Xposure International Photography Festival will extend its duration to one week from its typical four-day structure, with its annual programme of exhibitions, talks, workshops and equipment sales taking place from February 9 to 15 at Expo Centre Sharjah.

This year, the festival will feature more than 55 renowned photographers from around the world. Among those on the list are Magnum member Steve McCurry, whose body of work covers conflict, as well as ancient traditions and cultures.

Among his most-known portraits is an image of a young Afghan refugee ("Afghan Girl") he photographed in 1984. He will also be in conversation with Aidan Sullivan about his life and career on February 14. All talks are open to the public, but visitors must register for tickets online prior to the event

Other photographers, such as Alain Schroeder, will also be in attendance. Schroeder, whose works on orangutans and child jockeys earned him World Press Photo prizes, will be discussing the stories behind his images, also on February 14. Photographer Chris Rainier, who is known for photographing indigenous tribes throughout the world, will talk about his 40-year career and the importance of documenting culture on February 11.

The festival will also feature talks by Alan Schaller, Jennifer Hayes, Vineet Vohra, Jeffrey Garriock, as well as National Geographic photographer David Doubilet, conceptual photographer Debi Cornwall, and environmental photojournalist Aaron Gekoski, among others. The full list of participating photographers is on Xposure’s website.

Tariq Saeed Allay, director general of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau, which organises the festival, said: “Xposure has emerged as one of the most significant events on Sharjah’s annual cultural calendar.” He said that the event “facilitates greater understanding and appreciation of the diversity of human experience and cultures, and generates awareness of the trauma and impacts of conflict while also drawing attention to pertinent issues affecting the planet.”

Exhibiting an array of photographic styles and subjects, the festival has placed emphasis on images that highlight the importance of the natural environment, as well as photographic practices that touch on contemporary issues.

Last year, the festival featured the works of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Muhammed Muheisen, which showed a young refugee girl named Zahra Mahmoud in the years 2016 and 2020. Also exhibited were Brian Hodges's photographic series on students in Uganda to help raise awareness for the African Women Rising organisation.

Xposure will also go ahead with the opening of GalleryX, a new venue in Al Majaz Amphitheatre that will display the works of the festival’s participating photographers throughout the year. The inauguration of the gallery took place in February, but the organisation has not yet staged its first exhibition. It is expected to go ahead with its year-round programme of shows in 2022.

More details on the event's schedule of talks and workshops will be announced early next year.

The Xposure International Photography Festival will take place from Wednesday to Tuesday, February 9 to 15. More information is at

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