Meet the winners of Carte Blanche 2021

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Mina Boromand, Emile Gostelie, Francesca Hummler, and Emil Lombardo are the winners of this year’s open call

Now in its fifth year, Carte Blanche is an open call that seeks to uplift emerging talent, forging connections between students and the often impenetrable world of art and photography. Initiated by Paris Photo in partnership with Picto Foundation and SNCF Gares & Connexions, the award is open to MA and BA students throughout Europe.

Today, four laureates are announced as the winners of this year’s call-out. Mina Boromand, Emile Gostelie, Francesca Hummler and Emil Lombardo will exhibit their work at Paris Gare du Nord train station, as well as in a dedicated space at Paris Photo, this autumn.

Here, we introduce each of the winners. 

Emile Gostelie

Photo Academy, Amsterdam

Emile Gostelie investigates the limits of reality, exploring the tension between what we see and what we know. His practice is fuelled by extensive research, experimentation and the physical manipulation of images and objects. Through deconstruction and reconstruction, or altering context, Gostelie separates images from their original meaning. This metamorphosis allows for an investigation into the role of photography’s relationship to reality.


Mina Boromand

London Metropolitan University

Aphantasia is a condition whereby a person is unable to voluntarily create a mental picture in their head. People with aphantasia are unable to picture a scene, person, or object, even if it is familiar. Mina Boromand accidentally discovered that she had this condition while listening to a BBC radio programme. 

The Iranian-born, London-based artist decided to explore the lack of visual imagery in her mind through photography, soon realising that, rather than inhibiting her creativity, the condition enhanced it. Boromand’s images represent the emotional attachment she has to her memories, expressing her experience of displacement. She adds physical layers to photographic prints as a way to connect with her memories; a means of reconstructing the time and space that separates her from the past.

Francesca Hummler

Royal College of Art, London

Francesca Hummler’s project, Our Dollhouse, was initiated when her younger sister Masantu expressed disappointment at the lack of photographs of her as a baby, before she was adopted. The series peers into a dollhouse that was first constructed by Hummler’s great great grandparents, before being continued by her grandparents, and completed by her father. Cropped photographs of her younger sister are collaged into the interior of the dollhouse. For Hummler, photography provides an outlet to express the responsibility she feels to emotionally support Masantu in the challenges she faces as a result of growing up in a white family in the United States.

Emil Lombardo 

Royal College of Art, London

Emil Lombardo uses the camera as a tool to promote positive change and equality. The Argentinian-born, London-based photographer is interested in documenting the lives of others, as well as using the camera to explore his own gender identity and sexuality. 

Between January and April 2021, Lombardo cycled a total distance of 600 kilometers around London to photograph 45 transgender and non-binary people outside of their homes. The resulting project, An Unending Sunday Morning, documents the unique experiences of isolation, separation and struggle that took hold during the Covid-19 lockdown.

For more information about Carte Blanche 2021, click here. 

Marigold Warner

Marigold Warner joined the British Journal Photography in April 2018, and currently holds the position of Online Editor. She studied English Literature and History of Art at the University of Leeds, followed by an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London. Her work has been published by titles including the Telegraph Magazine, Huck, Gal-dem, Disegno, and the Architects Journal.