“El Arca de No Él” is the second street performance of this project of “Havana...” Like on “Cuban Rocket...”, it’s predecessor, the performance took place on some of the most busies streets of Manhattan, in New York, starting on Times Square, Forty Second Street, Fifth Avenue and a little section of Six Avenue, ending the “voyager” across the street from the famous Radio City. The symbolic act wasn’t destined for an “informed” audience, but rather for the hundreds of pedestrians that happened to be walking around. A flyer, containing an adjudged letter “from the Animals to a Horse called Delfi”, was indeed a self explanatory statement of the performance.

This street performance took place in New York City on June 27th of 2009. The performance was made possible thanks to the invaluable support of a group of friends. Daniel Clapp and Luis Fernandez did all the video documentation. Henry Lopez and Mathew Brownell took all the photos. Camilo Lopez helped with the logistic, carrying the “barge” on the subway train and much more. Lourdes Davila translated the handout’s text. Fran Rodriguez will place all this information on my website. Rafael Lopez Ramos, Alberto Ortiz de Zarate and Ernesto Menendez read the handout first version, offering some suggestion that made it in to the final text. Finally, my daughter Moa Ximena allowed me to use a toy cake of hers so I could offer it to the pig, which was in a mood for celebration.




“Fable of a Horse called Delfi”
(text printed on the handout that was distributed during the performance)

Some History books tell us of a place inhabited by defenseless creatures (animals and insects of all species) that lived under the protection of a giant named Delfi; among other virtues, the horse’s supernatural powers included the ability to see and predict the future. It was said that Delfi, the enormous stallion, had saved the small creatures from the biggest and most evil giant of all, and for this reason all animals lived eternally grateful to him. As proof of their gratitude they had written the words “DELFI, THIS IS YOUR HOME” on the door of their dwellings. From up above, the giant Delfi would watch the scene below, a small island in the infinite expanse of the universe. There the small creatures lived, blind to the fact that, not just their homes, but also their destiny, belonged to Delfi the giant.

We are those “small creatures” described in the fable, Cubans in exile who refuse to live under a totalitarian regime that has existed now for half a century (turning it into a reign, or a dynasty). A regime that satisfies the whims of only one man, the Delfi horse of our fable (1). We inhabit in our exodus our own “Noah’s Ark;” we try to survive the fatal cataclysm into which “Our Master Leader Fidel Castro” has turned our island of Cuba. And so we are, dispersed this way and that. “Without motherland but also without a master” (2).

Oh beloved rider of the Apocalypse! What would you do without your horse? And what would we do, defenseless animals, without our Great and Giant Apocalyptic Horse? Oh Horse, King of the Endless Speech! Oh Horse, King of Supreme Arrogance! Forgive us for not containing our hatred toward you. Forgive us for never forgiving you for the evil you have bestowed on us.

We “bless” you, Horse. All the animals adore you and bless you. The roaches, the flies, they too adore you… But especially the worms! How to prevent it? You have so despised them! (3) May you be blessed for centuries to come! We are eternally grateful for your actions toward us, and declare as evidence: “HORSE, THIS IS NOT YOUR HOME!” (4)

In no one’s land and in this Ark of not He (5) we sign: Scorpion, Monkey, Frog, Giraffe, Cock, Zebra, Bat, Fly, Donkey, Pig, Cow, Snake, Centipede, Chameleon, Hippopotamus, Ostrich, Squirrel, Bull, Mare, Camel, Dromedary, Dinosaurs, Sheep, Crocodile, Caiman, Tiger, Lion, Buffalo, Panther, Salamander, Zebra, Crab, Mole, Firefly, Sheep, Wasp, Parrot, Mosquitoes, Elephant, Hyena, Duck, Parakeet, “Chivo y Chivato” (6), los Gusan...

1. “Horse” in Chinese lore, means number one. For this reason, for many years Fidel Castro onerously has received this pseudonym. “Delfi”, is the syllabic inversion of “Fidel”. This cryptic nickname was used when trying to debunk “commander.”

2. “Without motherland but without a master.” Phrase coined by the Cuban freedom fighter José Martí, who lived in exile in New York for sixteen years, over a century ago.

3. From very early on in the Revolution, the Cuban government (Fidel) started to call all Cubans who did not wed the “revolutionary process” “gusanos” (worms).

4. During the first years of the revolution, many Cubans had written “Fidel: this is your home” on the door of their homes. Ironically, fifty years later no Cuban truly owns any home, because “the government” is the owner of all properties.

5. In Spanish the title “Noah’s Ark” reads “Arca de Noel.” By separating the syllables in Noel you get No el, which means, “not he.”

6. “Chivo” means Goat, in Spanish. “Chivato” is a made up word in Spanish, in the Cuban slang. It means “whistler blower”. This term has been in use for at least a century.
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