My Website: Background

My web site contains pictorial accounts of my work and travels as an agricultural economist and photographer, using my extensive slide collection with over 2300 slides and negative collection of 500 negative films.
A main aspect of my work as agricultural economist, was to describe traditional societies of tropical foodcrop farmers and their farming systems, as an initial step for the design of development programs. In several case my work was the first systematic description of specific societies of traditional farmers and in these cases my work has today a historical relevance.

Each pictorial account is accompanied by an introduction, based on my official reports and related documents.
In addition short pictorial accounts of my interest in other subjects are available on my web site. This includes a biography and photo collection of my maternal grand father Charles Emile Benjamins, 1873-1940, after whom I am named.  Other subjects are: my interests in music, growing water plants and a review of my batik tulis- hand drawn batik-collection.

In 2002, I started to summarize my professional experiences to make these available to the Ethnological Museum, Leiden, Netherlands. In compensation the Museum stores all my original slides and negatives in their climatic controlled store rooms, after   digitalization and description. A Tiff format of my images is also available, as required for offset printing.

Visitors of my website are welcome to use images or text of the website, provided the source is acknowledged as: Charles van Santen.

In case images are needed for offset printing, one can make a request to me directly at cvsanten(at) indo(dot) net (dot)id or to the Museum: info(at)rmv(dot)nl Attention Dr. Graeme Scott, Head of Collection Management, Dutch National Museum of Ethnology, Steenstraat 1, 2300AE , Leiden, The Netherlands. Website:

In early 2007 I established the website  to make the above pictorial accounts easier accessible to those interested in my experiences. Since establishment I received many interesting comments from visitors of my web site, for which I herewith thank these reviewers.

This web is developed and maintained by Xintesa, Jakarta, Indonesia. Their considerable inputs are hereby gracefully acknowledged. Xintesa can be contacted at:

Since opening my website: in May 2007, I received over a hundred kind letters from visitors to my website from all continents of the world showing an interest in one or more of the subjects of my web site. These reactions were in addition to the many enthusiastic letters I received from family members, relatives and friends. It is another proof that the Internet really connects people from all over the world regardless of distances and background.

Following the request of some of my visitors I have sent since then over thirty DVDs with images and text from my website to different website visitors, who used my photo material and or text for their papers and articles on agricultural, historical and archeological subjects. A Magazine specialized in Batik from Malaysia included one of my articles on Batik Tulis subject, while a documentary about an Iraqi poet for the Dutch National TV used a number of my Iraq photos as a background for this documentary.

I herewith thank all the visitors of my website for their kind and enthusiastic letters and interesting correspondence.

Charles, Bogor, Indonesia, March 2010