I am interested in capturing the backstage of society, what is less visible or so visible that we do not see it.
On the field I need to be part of the world I am entering in order to draw stories of life.
I generally work in series, what some call photographic essays.
When photographing I prefer not to structure my work in advance and pick up the images as they come.
I later order them to suit what I had in mind or the images order my ideas...
I use a viewfinder camera and black and white film. I still need the magic of rediscovering the images when they come out of the lab. I do not crop my photographs.
Being a Photographer is probably much more than being a witness. We enter into people's minds and what we do becomes part of their imagination. It is a great and wonderful responsibility.
Martin Santander was born in Mendoza, Argentina, at the foot of the Andes in 1964.
At the age of three he moved to Belgium with his parents and younger brother as his father had been awarded a scholarship for a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Leuven. Because of his mother’s fear of flying, they crossed the ocean to Belgium by boat, a trip that would mark him because of the sharp contrast with the Andes.
At a young age, Santander’s frequent travels led to encounters with nature’s overwhelming beauty and contrasts to which the photographer became sensitive.
Between the age of 3 and 12 Martin Santander alternately lived in Belgium and Argentina.
In 1976 the military committed a coup in Argentina. It was no longer a place for the liberal ideas of his father, who had been teaching philosophy at the universities of Chaco and subsequently Mendoza. His father fled his native Argentina and chose to return to Belgium. Martin, his mother and brother followed him that same year.
In 1983 the family moved again, this time to Puebla, Mexico where his father took up a teacher’s job at the university there based on the conviction that Mexico needed his work.
After three years Martin decided to leave Mexico. With his few resources he had he managed to buy an airplane ticket and ended up back in Belgium.
In the early ‘90s he worked as a diving instructor in Guadeloupe, driven by his passion for the ocean’s power.
In 1992 he took up photography studies in Brussels at the École de Photographie de la Ville de Bruxelles, which he completed in the mid-1990s.
Today Martin works as a freelance photographer in Argentina and Europe. In recent years he has exhibited his work in several prominent contemporary arts museums and cultural institutions in various countries, including Argentina, Spain, Bolivia, France, USA and Belgium.