Welcome to The Director’s Cut, an interactive column featuring fashion, beauty and career advice from RGNN Director and Founder, @isabelevabohrer.
Saddle bags, signature Bar jackets, Sauvage perfume bottles…all of these come to mind when thinking of Christian Dior. But this French Maison far transcends such best-selling products. Case in point: for the past six years, Christian Dior Parfums has been awarding the Dior Award for Photography and Visual Arts for Young Talents, most recently in partnership with LUMA Arles and the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie (ENSP), one of the most prestigious photography schools in France.
We recently had the pleasure of traveling to Arles to see for ourselves, and the trip did not disappoint. In fact, we have all the insider scoop for you – Inés Tanoira, one of the finalists for the Dior award this year, has kindly answered all of your burning questions about how to apply for the prize. So, let’s get on to this exclusive and special interview.
Isabel Eva Bohrer: Who is eligible to apply?
Inés Tanoira: The competition is open to all students in training as well as to former students who graduated in the last five years, from the schools listed below.
Editor’s note: In 2023, the list of participating schools included the following (by countries in alphabetical order). Important: if you are applying for 2024 or later, please check if there are any updates to this list, there have been changes over the years.
- Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires
- École de Recherche Graphique (ERG), Brussels
- Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal
- Shanghai Institute of Visual Art, Shanghai
- Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing
- École nationale supérieure de la photographie, Arles
- École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, Paris
- Academy of Fines Arts, Leipzig
- Kyoto University of the Art and Design, Kyoto
- Tokyo University of the Arts, Tokyo
- Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City
- Market Photo Workshop, Johannesburg
- Chung-Ang University, Seoul
- Grisart, Barcelona
- Haute Ecole d’Art et de Design, Geneva
- Royal Academy of Art, The Hague
United Arab Emirates:
- University of Sharjah, Fine Arts & Design College, Sharjah
- Royal College of Art, London
- Central Saint Martins, London
- International Center of Photography, New York City
- School of Visual Arts, New York City
As I was a student of the Seminar of Photographic Production at the Centro de la Imagen (Mexico) in 2021, I was invited to apply for the prize.
What did your selection process for the Dior Award entail?
Inés Tanoira: This application consisted of the presentation of a photographic series of between 4 and 20 images, together with a curatorial text and an artist biography. A few weeks after the closing date for the application, I received an email with the confirmation that I had been selected among the 12 works chosen to participate in the exhibition. After that, I had to submit a sketch of a montage of the photos in the exhibition. All the production of the work was handled internally by the prize organization.
What did you learn from the Dior Award application, selection, and exhibition process?
Inés Tanoira: Applying for an award always involves looking at the work again, redefining it and that is always a huge learning process, where one observes the different edges and possibilities that the project has.– Inés Tanoira, finalist for the Dior Award for Photography and Visual Arts for Young Talents, 2023
The opportunity to travel to Arles, to be in contact with other photographers from different parts of the world, to be able to show my work and for it to have a positive impact in a place so far away from where I come from, was a unique and unforgettable experience.
And now, here are a few tips and info directly from us at RGNN…
Who is on the jury?
The jury will vary from year to year. In 2023, it included fashion photographer Rafael Pavarotti, known for his images representative of diversity, as jury president, as well as Belgian photographer Barbara Iweins, French art historian and photographer Damarice Amao, Dior Make-up Creative and Image Director Peter Philips, Maja Hoffmann, Founder and President of LUMA Arles, and Simon Baker, Director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris.
What is the prize?
This year’s winner, Iris Millot, received a 10,000-euro grant from Parfums Christian Dior. Her photographs, along with all the works by the 12 finalists – including Jermine Chua from Central Saint Martins in London, whose video won the Jury Honorable Mention – were exhibited in the LUMA Arles Grande Halle space from July 3 through September 24, 2023.
Tips for applying
- If you are considering applying for future edition, I highly recommend you take a look at the photographs of the winner and finalists of previous editions on LVMH.com and the LUMA Arles website.
- Further winning photographs (2018-2022) can be found with a simple Google search, check out 2022 and 2021 here. You can also watch a video interview with the 2022 winner here.
- The call for applications for 2024 will likely be publicized at the participating universities starting in November/December 2024, so ask your professors/career center for exact details.
- If you want to start preparing even earlier, take a look a previous call for applications from Dior here.
- And if you do get into the final round and are invited to travel to the south of France, check out my recent article on Arles here.
Questions or comments? Follow me on IG @isabelevabohrer and say hi! See you soon!