Photo Exhibit Featuring Revolutionary Figures Includes Whitehead Scientists

November 4, 2003

Tags: Awards + Announcements

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A new photography exhibit recognizing leaders in science, the arts, politics and society includes images of Whitehead scientists Rudolf Jaenisch and Eric Lander. “Something Better Change,” an exhibit by Cambridge-based photographer John Nikolai, opens Nov. 4 at the Zeitgeist Gallery at 1353 Cambridge St., Cambridge.

For the project, Nikolai photographed dozens of people who he says have promoted, inspired or caused significant change in the world. The show includes never-before-seen images of such revolutionaries as feminist leader Betty Friedan; political activists Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn; Barry Commoner, called “the Paul Revere of ecology” by Time magazine; and the Dalai Lama. The exhibit also highlights contributors to the arts and music, such as Chuck Berry and Joan Ganz Cooney, co-creator of Sesame Street.

“Whether it’s inventing or revitalizing rock ‘n’ roll, working to discover the meaning of life on an organic or spiritual level, or dedicating one’s life to making education accessible and fun to tens of thousands of children, these people have done more than curse the darkness. They have lit candles. Sometimes bonfires,” Nikolai says. “The exhibition is ultimately meant to celebrate not only change, but also the pursuit of a better world.”

“Something Better Change” is a follow-up to an exhibition of Nikolai’s photographs held last year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology called “We’re Disparate, Get Used to It: Images of the Pioneers of Punk and the Great Minds of Harvard and MIT.”

Nikolai is a contributor to the resurrected PUNK magazine and has spent much of the past seven years documenting the lives and recent activities of the original instigators of punk rock for a forthcoming book, “Nevermind Nostalgia: The Last Book on Punk Rock (Part One).”

“Something Better Change” runs Nov. 4-5 and Nov. 7-9, with a reception Nov. 8 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.


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