BRUSSELS - Last summer, a fire breather suddenly appeared in Brussels. Photographer Kristof Vadino became intrigued by the mysterious entertainer and started following the man.

It turned out to be 42-year-old Chrystoff, who lost his job as a cook in the first lockdown. Of course, in times of financial scarcity, it is not easy to raise another son. But as Chrystoff committed himself to cooking fresh for his child every day - 'Never frozen or tinned food!' - he went to work on his talents.

As soon as the terraces opened again, Chrystoff would tie up the loose ends with a spectacle of fire-breathing and juggling. Even though you don't bring in the big bucks with that and you are completely empty-handed when it rains.

After the catering industry was forced to close its doors again in October, Chrystoff drifted further towards 'la vraie galère' - real misery. It was impossible to get a replacement income and, for a Frenchman, the administrative merry-go-round was extra complicated. To top it all off, Chrystoff's son ended up in hospital. How the son and the father are doing at the moment is unknown. Vadino did not manage to reach the fire-breather on his two songs. This seems to extinguish the man's flame, at least for a while.

Photo © 2021 Kristof Vadino

Team members

Kristof Vadino

Kristof Vadino works as a freelance photographer for Belgian and foreign publications. His pictures are published in De Standaard, De Tijd, Elsevier, Le Monde, El País, Trouw... He publishes news photos as well as documentary work.

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