Umberto Santoro was born in Palermo in 1995. The first approaches with photography begin during his high school years, developing personal and and commercial projects. In 2015, thanks to the University of Palermo he attends a photojournalism workshop together with Tony Gentile. Afterwards he starts to collaborate with national and international newspapers, realizing services for Il sicilia.it, La Repubblica, Vice, Il Corriere and Il Giornale di Sicilia. He also begins to work as an assistant to the photojournalist Francesco Bellina of the agency Cesura.
In 2017 he documents the protests that took place in Taormina on the occasion of the G7 and two months later the clashes between Black Block and police forces in Hamburg, on the occasion of the G20. Mainly focusing his work on humanitarian and social issues, in 2018 his reportage work DentroOreto is exhibited on the occasion of the traveling contemporary art biennial Manifesta 12, for the exhibition “OltreOreto” produced by ONIBI.
In this period he documents the works of several artists exhibiting in Palermo during the biennial, such as Tiziana Cera Rosco, Masbedo, Fallen Fruit, Tiziana Pers, publishing the images for several editorials such as Artribune, Artslife or Dispensa Magazine. In the same year he collaborates with the association Cherimus, moving to Dakar to document a cultural project that unites Sardinia and Senegal through music.
In 2019, with ONIBI, he curates the street art project for the Sant’Erasmo township in Palermo, which includes the creation of the mural by Igor Scalisi Palminteri and the exhibition of photographs from the Ulysses project, an experimental reportage on artisanal fishing in Sicily.
He is currently working on a project to document the lives of young second-generation Africans born in Palermo, a reflection on the dynamics of integration into the social and urban fabric of the city.