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artwork sales surge by 70% as 18k visit Xposure

Sharjah’s grand celebration of the beauty and fragility of the world – as seen through the lens of 70 world-renowned photographers – came to a spectacular close after registering new milestones in the sixth edition of Xposure International Photography Festival.

Xposure 2022, which ran from February 9 to 15 at Expo Centre Sharjah, welcomed 18,000 photography enthusiasts this year and registered a 70 per cent rise in artwork sales compared to the previous edition. The week-long event also saw a record number of participation at its workshops, with a staggering 274 participants registering for the on-ground activities, exceeding the total number of participants in the last five editions combined.

Organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), the international festival succeeded in drawing the world’s attention to urgent issues impacting our planet and mankind at the first-ever Conservation Summit, held under the theme ‘Save Our Oceans’. 70 world-renowned photographers also showcased their vivid and compelling images through 45 solo and group exhibitions that captured pivotal moments in history and offered a window to the wider world around us.

Xposure welcomed visitors from around the world to gain new perspectives of the current reality of our planet, its natural wealth and beauty, and the astonishing wonders of the earth’s marine and terrestrial wildlife.

Xposure 2022 also introduced visitors to vibrant cultures in far flung corners of the world, in addition to spotlighting the realities of vulnerable populations and victims of natural disasters and wars through an astonishing 1,600 visual stories.

In his keynote speech at the closing event, Tariq Saeed Allay, Director General of SGMB, emphasised the critical role of arts in raising awareness of issues that require urgent attention. He said: “Throughout our past editions, Xposure has brought to light the power of visual stories in raising awareness, altering perceptions, and changing lives.”

He added: “Every year, we step closer and become more connected to issues facing humankind – the environment, climate, marine, and wildlife. We have become more interested in what is happening around the world because every exhibition and session at Xposure shines a light on these critical issues and force us to take onus of our responsibilities.”

The director general thanked participating photographers, teams, and volunteers, and all those who used their cameras or smartphones to document the events and exhibitions at Xposure and relay its key messages to their community and the world. The SGMB Director General pointed out that such partnerships have elevated the status of the international festival and cemented its global appeal.

Allay and Alia Al Suwaidi, Director of SGMB, honoured the festival’s guests and sponsors, including photographers, media representatives and businesses that supported and sponsored the festival.

Xposure 2022 hosted its first-ever Conservation Summit, under the theme ‘Save Our Oceans’, on February 10, in partnership with the International League of Conservation Photographers that brought together environmental activists, passionate explorers, photographers, and changemakers from around the world to lead seven insightful panel discussions on lasting solutions and everyday acts to protect the environment.

Prominent photojournalists and researchers specialising in marine wildlife and underwater environment who shared their stories at the Conservation Summit included National Geographic explorers Brian Skerry, David Doubilet, Jennifer Hayes, Jeffrey Garriock, and Laurent Ballesta, Celebrated heroes in the world of photography including Steve McCurry, who captured the iconic ‘Afghan Girl’ portrait for National Geographic; and American war photographer James Nachtwey who documented wars and critical social issues for four decades, inspired and motivated audiences at Xposure 2022.

A host of other renowned international photographers also shared their understanding of the world and the influences that have shaped their extraordinary journeys with audiences at the festival.

Xposure welcomed photography enthusiasts to advance knowledge and image-making skills at interactive workshops for beginners and professionals held throughout the seven-day event and led by international photographers

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