The No Manifesto of Tribu No

Cecilia Vicuña


The No Manifesto of Tribu No

Translated by Rosa Alcalá

The Tribu No was an informal group of poets and artists who created art actions in Santiago de Chile, from l967 to l972. Cecilia Vicuña named it and authored the “No Manifesto”.

Charlie Parker’s no-movement, this is what we are in the temperate and unsettled night of the South. As long as life’s magnificence persists in our solitary yet connected experiences, nothing worries us.

We manifest no desire and no characteristic. To avoid being pigeonholed, we put forth no manifesto, but we are not afraid of pigeonholing ourselves—that would be as likely as suddenly becoming Polynesia’s most daring parachutists.

We upset order with our exacerbated immobility. Moreover, the no-movement belongs to Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Nicolás de Cusa, Martínez de Pasqualiz, Rimbaud, Philoxenus, and, most of all, André Breton and Hölderlin. In reality, we do not want to become demonstrators, since it would make the experience predominantly public.

We undermine reality from within, which is why we are subversive and loving. Furthermore, we are so minor and unknown as to delight in our freedom.

Tribu No’s campaigns are not highly clandestine, and the only visible results of we who live-not the no-movement are our stupid works.

We hope to turn solitude into the world’s new idol. ha ha

We say no-thing. After speaking centuries of IT, IT remains a secret.

Our macabre intent is to leave humans naked, without preconceived notions, without conventional attachments-attire.

Have no fear. Our works will take years to manifest. We are not playing around. The interior of the seed is soft.

IT is known only by living IT. Whatever IT is.

IT is yet to be discovered.


Santiago de Chile, 1967

Poet and multidisciplinary artist Cecilia Vicuña was born and raised in Chile. In her poems, she engages with themes of language and memory, with particular attention to decay and exile. As art historian Roberto Tejada observed, “Vicuña’s work, at its very essence, is ‘a way of remembering’—as if exile and recall joined to unravel an ‘autobiography in debris’ as one personal story within a larger narrative.” Vicuña is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, including Spit Temple: The Selected Performances of Cecilia Vicuña (edited and translated by Rosa Alcalá, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012), Instan (2002), Cloud-Net (1999), Unravelling Words & the Weaving of Water (translated by Eliot Weinberger and Suzanne Jill Levine,1992), Precario/Precarious (1983), and SABORAMI (1973, reissued with an afterword by the author, Chain Links, 2011). She is the co-editor of The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology (with Ernesto Livon Grosman, 2009) and the editor of Ül: Four Mapuche Poets: An Anthology (translated by John Bierhorst,1998)Her Selected Poetry is forthcoming by Kelsey St Press, 2016.

Rosa Alcalá is the author of a poetry collectionUndocumentaries(Shearsman Books, 2010) and two chapbooks:  Some Maritime Disasters This Century (Belladonna, 2003) and  Undocumentary (Dos Press, 2008). Alcalá has also translated poetry by Cecilia Vicuña, Lourdes Vázquez, and Lila Zemborain, among others. Recent translations include Zemborain’s  Guardians of the Secret (Noemi Press, 2009), and poems for The Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry (2009). She teaches in the Department of Creative Writing and Bilingual MFA Program at the University of Texas at El Paso.

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