Meet the winners of this year’s Carte Blanche Student competition

© Florian Gatzweiler and Sascha Levin

BJP reveals this year’s shortlist, alongside the four winning artists who will present their work at the Grand Palais Ephémère during Paris Photo

For each of the last seven years, Paris Photo, Picto Foundation and SNCF Gares & Connexions have joined forces to develop a platform for young talent. Carte Blanche Student offers opportunities for discovery, visibility exchange and encounters to master’s or bachelor’s students at European photography and visual arts schools. Explore the winning and shortlisted artists below.

2023 Laureates

Aurélie Nydegger

Aurélie Giovannoni, whose artist name is Aurélie Nydegger, is a documentary photographer and visual artist from Switzerland. She graduated from the CEPV in Vevey with a degree in visual communication, specialising in photography, and is currently studying fiction at the HEAD in Geneva.

In 2021, she will complete her studies with the Champ du Repos project, which recounts the memories of her family during the Second World War. She continues her research with the Marcel(le) project, characterised by recurring family patterns and the absence of the father figure.

Marcelle © Aurélie Giovannoni, whose artist name is Aurelie Nydegger

Florian Gatzweiler and Sascha Levin

Florian Gatzweiler (b. 1998) has always harbored a deep interest in the arts, particularly in observing Things. Initially drawn to acting, Florian eventually found his passion in photography, prompting him to embark on his studies in 2020.

Sascha Levin (b. 2000) naturally developed an interest in photography, inspired by his father’s profession as a cameraman. While working as a social worker, Sascha also realized the power of photography as a tool for giving voice to important issues. He has pursued studies in photography and, since 2021, also in social work.

© Florian Gatzweiler and Sascha Levin

Kairo Urovi

Kairo Urovi, an artist residing in London, explores the concepts of identity, belonging, and family diaspora in their artwork. Having obtained a BA degree in Photography from the London College of Communication, Kairo’s artistic approach is community based.

Their pieces have been showcased in various art galleries throughout London, including Autograph ABP, RichMix and Free Range. Being transgender themselves, Kairo is interested in the creation of new queer archives and the cultivation of a supportive network of visual artists who challenge the frequently damaging narratives propagated by the media.

© Kairo Urovi

Raisan Hameed

Raisan Hameed (b. 1991) is an Iraq-born visual artist currently living in Leipzig. He received a Diploma in Fine Arts in 2022, and is currently pursuing an MA at the Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig. In his works, Hameed deals with different dimensions of truth. While he concentrates on making the inside visible, he simultaneously identifies with the outcome. He is often the subject of his images, processing his experiences metaphorically through acting and experimentation.

Hameed’s works have been exhibited in various exhibitions in Rotterdam, Berlin, Dresden, Bonn, Leipzig, Rome, Palermo and Sharjah.

C-Prints Kodak, Mossul 1993-94 © Raisan Hameed


Ada Di Palma

Ada Di Palma is an Italian visual artist based in Wales. Working at the intersection between photography and installation, her practice focuses on past events of her subjects, their memories and traumas that re-emerge and manifest as a form of cynical surrealism. Often, her disturbing imagery attempts to conceptualise the repulsion/attraction effect in an attempt to reappraise notions of ugliness.

As a woman, mother and visual activist, her practice embraces the causes, concerns and gender issues women are subjected to, and the daily stereotypes which women have to fight against, investigating socio- cultural phenomena which implicate deviant behaviours and identities structures.

New Moons © Ada Di Palma

Antonia Valentina Sanchez Armendariz

Antonia Valentina Sanchez Armendariz was born in Mexico City, and resided there until the age of 18. She then embarked on a journey to Europe, living in Helsingor, Denmark, followed by Barcelona, and finally settling in Amsterdam. In Barcelona, she pursued studies in film but ultimately transitioned to photography. Currently, she is a student at The Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. Throughout her artistic pursuits, Antonia has nurtured a profound interest in the intersection of documentary and fiction.

Pluk, We are 23 © Antonia Valentina

David Matecsa

David Matecsa (b. 1992, Hungary) is a Fine Art Photography student pursuing a BA degree at the University of the Arts London. As a non-binary person, their artistic pursuits have been shaped by a journey of self-discovery, with a particular focus on capturing the multifaceted nature of identity.

David’s passion lies in exploring the ordinary — real people, real places, and everything real. However, in the midst of the digital era, they often find themselves in alternative realities while creating imagery. David’s creative process involves an ongoing exploration of the past and its interconnectedness with the present, developing a visual language deeply rooted in personal history.

© David Matesca

Deacon Lui

Deacon Lui holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and is currently pursuing an MA in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism at the London College of Communication. His artistic practice is rooted in capturing the human experience through photography, seeking to illuminate the resilience of those often overlooked by mainstream media. His work embodies a deep commitment to social justice and human rights, and he uses photography as a tool for inspiring empathy, understanding, and change.

Recently, Deacon began to experiment with alternative photography to explore marginality, displacement, and social alienation, capturing the essence of human resilience and resistance.

© Deacon Lui

Francisco Gonzalez Camacho

Francisco Gonzalez Camacho (b. 1990) is a Spanish visual artist he lives in Helsinki. He is studying a Masters’ degree in Photography at Aalto University. His practice can be described as contemporary photography with focus on themes such as family, mortality and the connectedness between landscape and self.

Gonzalez Camacho’s work has been displayed both nationally and internationally, with a recent group exhibition at The Finnish Museum of Photography. It gained international recognition by magazines such as Fisheye magazine, and international photography platforms like Booooooom, which granted a photo book award back in 2022 for Elsewhere.

A drop of silence, Elsewhere © Francisco Gonzalez Camacho

Mohamed Hassan

Mohamed is a Welsh Egyptian artist whose photographic practice focuses on themes of identity and belonging. His work explores the lived experiences of people who are considered ‘different’ and marginalised due to structural inequalities relating to race, sex, sexual orientation and disability. He has a special interest in the Arab diaspora. His work draws on both people and place as factors that shape our place in the world.

Hassan has been shortlisted for several awards and his work has been exhibited in Wales at the Glynn Vivian Gallery, Ffotogallery, Mission Gallery,the Waterfront National Museum in Wales, Oriel Davies, Nova Cymru touring exhibition. and the National Portrait Gallery.

Our Hidden Room © Mohamed Hassan

Muhassad Al-Ani

Muhassad Al-Ani is based in Vienna, where he is currently studying Applied Photography & Time Based Media at the University of Applied Arts. His practice focuses on photographic staging, observation  and investigation of archive material. His work draws from personal experiences of exile and displacement as it investigates the struggle for cultural identity and belonging. He tries to find structure and patterns in the results of postcolonial circumstances and transgenerational trauma around him and his family.

Out Of Place © Muhassad Al-Ani

Nikos Papangelis

Nikos Papangelis is a visual artist based in Athens, incorporating photography and moving image in his practice. He studied photography at Stereosis School of Photography and holds a BA in history and archaeology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and an MA in filmmaking from Goldsmiths – University of London. He is currently studying for a Master’s degree in photography and visual language at AKTO – Middlesex University. His work has been presented in various international publications, group exhibitions and festivals.

Daedalus (against walls) © Nikos Papangelis

Sara Kontar

Sara Kontar (b. 1996) is a Syrian artist and photographer, based in France since 2016, Master’s student at (ENSAD). She started practicing photography in 2017, and participated in several exhibitions in Paris, notably at the Centre Pompidou in 2022 and the Palais de Tokyo in 2023, where her video work was projected. Sara is the founder of (Al-Ayoun) a space for visual storyteller in Syria and the diaspora.

Her art and photography is her way to express the experiences of exile, focusing on human emotions, identity, body language, movements, thoughts, and testimonies. she uses various mediums of photography, including studio, experimental, art video, and documentary.

Therefore, i cut © Sara Kontar

Sarah Grethe

Sarah Grethe (b. 1997) is a Hamburg born and based photographer. She completed her Photography B.A. in 2021 and is currently doing her M.A. The focus of her work is on the dependence of the past versus the present in the context of her personal environment.

She was awarded the Vonovia Award für Fotografie as Best Young Talent, 3rd place in the Sony World Photography Awards as Professional Creative and won the Deutscher Jugendfotopreis. The GUP Magazine called her out as Fresh Eyes Talent in 2022. She exhibited among others in the Sprengel Museum Hannover, Somerset House London, Museum für Angewandte Kunst Cologne and Rotterdam Photo Festival.

© Sarah Grethe

Tim Rod

Tim Rod holds a BA in Art Education from HKB, Bern, and has received advanced training in photography from CEPV, Vevey. He is currently pursuing an MA in Contemporary Arts Practice at HKB, Bern.

Tim explores the themes of exile and habitat. Over the past few years, he has delved into his own roots and origins, driven by reflections on the notions of displacement and a sense of belonging. He uses the photographic portrait to create a sense of strangeness or familiarity between the model and the viewer. This ambiguity refers to the perception of others as exotic territory or, on the contrary, as a being similar to a mirror of oneself.

Where is Jaffa, Israel, 2021 ©Tim Rod

Toma Gerzha

Toma Gerzha (b. 2003) grew up in Moscow, Kolchugino, Lukhovitsy, and still speaks Russian language. Her family moved to the Netherlands in 2009. She has successfully completed her photography studies at the Dutch Academy for Visual Creation in 2019 and first gained public notice with her solo-exhibition Nameless people, nameless country (2022), at C-LAB Art Gallery in Amsterdam. The show included a series of photographs of teenagers in the post-Soviet space taken a few months before the war in Ukraine. Her works are in collection of Cultural Association MoCA, University of the Arts London, Saint Petersburg State University (Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences).

Ctrl + r © Toma Gerzha

Varvara Uhlik

Varvara Uhlik (b. 1997, Dnipro, Ukraine) is a visual artist mainly working in the medium of photography and video. She studied Photography at the Royal Academy of Art, in The Hague. In her practice, she often creates absurd and comic environments, as she says: “It’s an easier way to process difficult feelings”. By integrating fiction into reality – she focuses on the human psyche, society and the relationships within it.

Varvara’s work was exhibited at the Southwark Park Galleries, London (2023), and The Grey Space in the Middle, The Hague (2022).

© Varvava Uhlik

Yehor Simakov

Yehor Simakov was born and raised in Rivne, Ukraine, and moved to the Czech Republic in 2019. Since 2021, he has been studying at the photography studio organized by Ivars Gravlejs at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Brno Technical University. His work primarily revolves around analog techniques and experimental digital photography.

© Yehor Simakov

Photographer bios courtesy of Paris Photo. Find out more about the winning and shortlisted photographers here.

Paris Photo is at Grand Palais Éphémère, Paris, from 9 to 12 November 2023