'If you knew it, why didn't you do something about it?'

Hungarian artist Andi Galdi Vinko’s collaborative project ‘If you knew it, why didn’t you do something about it?’ touches on the fears and uncertainties related to being a parent in a world about to implode with conflict and climate crises. The project asks not only how we can navigate this, but also how we can convey knowledge and induce hope in our children to reassure them a reliable path through fake news, uncertain times and lurking disasters.

“Currently, when my daughters ask me during the bedtime routine, "Will I have to run a lot from fires?" I say no, assuring them that everything will be alright. But later, when I go to sleep, I think: will that always be the case?”

— Andi Galdi Vinko


Will I have to run from fire?

Project: If you knew it, why didn’t you do something about it?, by Andi Galdi Vinko

How do we talk to our children about looming disasters, conflicts and crises? If You Knew It, Why Didn’t You Do Something About It? is a poignant exploration of the challenges of parenting in the 21st century amidst the backdrop of the current climate crisis. In this series, Hungarian artist Andi Galdi Vinko collaborates with her 6-year-old daughter Dana and her artist friend Hin to create a multifaceted reflection on the entanglement of personal lives with global uncertainties.

This topic continues as a new step in the research into womanhood and motherhood that the artist has developed in the last few years. For Andi Galdi Vinko, art needs a purpose and a message, and her exploration of these themes allows her to address the void she perceived in representing women’s perspectives. As a mother, her work has taken a new dimension, questioning not only herself but the world at large.

Andi Galdi Vinko / Hin - Fire // If you knew it, why didn't you do something about it?

Being a parent in the current climate

Parenting in an era of profound uncertainty is truly difficult. The ongoing climate crisis, political events, and the constant influx of distressing news became challenges when Andi tried to find a delicate balance between the harsh realities of the world and the need to nurture her children’s resilience and confidence. The series serves as a raw and honest expression of her struggles, mirroring the conflict between the chaos of online news and the desire to instill positivity in her children’s lives.

The ethical dilemma of lying or telling the truth to children about the state of the world becomes a central theme. As Dana grows older and poses intelligent and relevant questions, Andi grapples with how much truth to share without overwhelming her fragile understanding. The series becomes an exploration of the artist’s uncertainties and the difficulty of providing reassurance in an unpredictable future.

Andi Galdi Vinko / Hin // If you knew it, why didn't you do something about it?

Building this story together

The collaborative mother-daughter nature of the project incorporating also the voices of Hin brings forth unique perspectives. The mixed-media approach, combining drawing and text, enriches the narrative by allowing multiple viewpoints to converge. The collaboration with Dana, in particular, transforms the artistic process into a shared exploration between mother and daughter, building on the central issue of this work: how much do we tell our children about the dark aspects of the world?

The playful yet somber mood that permeates the project underscores the importance of balance. By interweaving humor with the gravity of the subject matter, Andi acknowledges the complexity of the human experience. This balance echoes themes present in her previous work, Sorry I Gave Birth I Disappeared But Now I’m Back showcasing a consistent exploration of the intersection between joy and sorrow inherent in motherhood. The use of archival imagery introduces a novel approach to her work. Resignifying old images and incorporating them into new narratives adds depth to the project, reflecting on the cyclical nature of challenges and the continuity of concerns across generations.

Thinking about the future

“For this project I also used old existing printed photos. I decided to use them as  a canvas, spread them out, cut them, rearrange them, mix and match them up. We made the collages and found meaning in the chaos. With the addition of the text layers we bring humour into the darkness.”

The work becomes a collective reflection on the artist’s questions, creating a space for dialogue and contemplation. If You Knew It, Why Didn’t You Do Something About It? encapsulates the challenges of parenting amidst a world that seems to be in a never-ending crisis. Galdi Vinko’s raw and introspective approach invites viewers to confront the ethical dilemmas of truth-telling, the role of art in uncertain times, and the perpetual cycle of concerns that shape the parenting experience.

Andi Galdi Vinko / Hin - NO WIFI // If you knew it, why didn't you do something about it?


“Everything is connected with this feeling of a messy knot. Keeping all of our actions and decisions linked. When an earthquake happens in Istanbul and it pops up on my phone’s screen as news and I need to deal with the decision to talk about it or not with my daughter, to show her the picture she is asking to see, I’m made very aware that all our lives and struggles are connected, that we have no choice but to deal with this invisible knot that ties us all together. Entanglement is the chaos of things that all affect each other and end up affecting you as well.”

— Andi Galdi Vinko

Text and edit · Felipe Abreu and Christine Almlund

Andi Galdi Vinko studied visual arts at Moholy Nagy University of Art in Budapest and Esag Penninghen in Paris. Her work draws visual analogies between intensely personal and intimate experiences of motherhood and womanhood and universal human experiences of coming of age, ageing, loss, and the conflict between Western and Eastern European ideologies.

Selected achievements

  • – 2023 Winner of Kraszna Krausz Photobook Award 2023 
  • – 2023 Group exhibition LIBERTY, EQUALITY, SORORITY, SENSUALITY, Robert Capa Center 
  • – Selected artist for Plat(t)form Fotomuseum Winterthur
  • – 2022 Sorry I Gave Birth I Disappeared But Now I’m Back Booklaunch at Ruptures Associes, Paris Photo, BOP Martin Parr Foundation, TJ Boulting Gallery, London, Unseen Amsterdam with Erika Deak Gallery, 
  • – 2022 Selected artist for Futures Photography