‘Cassandra’s Gift’ is a visual essay, made by the acclaimed film director Payal Kapadia, on the tapestry of images, texts and sounds that constitute Nalini Malani’s six-channel video/shadow play In Search of Vanished Blood for the dOCUMENTA (13) 2012. The artist’s studio represents Cassandra’s casket, locked up for having the gift of prophecy, where she makes her video shadow play. Based on Cassandra’s myth the artist talks about her ideas and the struggles that go into making this complex work, and we see how she realizes them inside the four walls of her studio. The artwork traces the confluence of Indian and ancient Greek mythology, intermingled with recent Indian history, the role of women, and their long fight for independence and equality.

In Arts and Culture on 12 December 2019, this artwork was selected as being one of the ten most important artworks of the last decade.

The work was featured as part of the exhibition 'The Witness' by Nalini Malani. The exhibition was curated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta and Johan Pijnappel. In this exhibition, Nalini Malani explored concepts and concerns that have preoccupied her for decades - notions of oppression and dominance, of freedom and justice.


  • Title: Cassandra's Gift
  • Creator: Payal Kapadia
  • Date Created: 2012
  • Location: Origins of Mumbai Gallery
  • Type: Documentary
  • Material: Video 20 minutes

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