30 years ago, the nuclear disaster of Chernobyl happened. On the occasion of the anniversary, Peter Zarko-Flynn published a photo essay on his personal blog, and gained considerable attention. In everyday life, Peter works as a communications consultant in London, from an office with a window onto nature. Here is our interview.
Please tell us something about you and what you are working on.
I’m a creative communications consultant, specialising in health and science. I set up my own business almost six years ago, but I have spent my entire career in media and communications. I started out as a News and Current Affairs producer with the BBC and worked with the organisation for five years, which prepared me well for my future work.
Right now, I’m working on a Public Engagement brochure for the Francis Crick Institute, a new biomedical research institute that opens soon in central London.
You’re working in a number of fields: communication consultancy, photography, media relations, training… What is your true passion?
I’ve always been most passionate about telling stories, from a very young age. I used to love writing classes at junior school. When I was ten years old, I wrote what – at the time – seemed quite an epic story about a group of children who discovered a gold mine. I was so engrossed in writing the story, I kept asking for more time to finish it. In the end my teacher put his foot down and insisted I hand it in as it was, because he needed to mark everyone’s work. I was so upset that it was not properly finished, although I think it taught me a valuable lesson on the importance of hitting a deadline!
When I look at my career, telling compelling stories about people, or stories that affect people, is the thread that has run through it. Storytelling is why I went into journalism and it has informed a lot of the work I’ve been drawn to as a consultant.