Dada or Dadaism is a cultural movement that began in Zürich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1922. The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature—poetry, art manifestoes, art theory—theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a rejection of the prevailing standards in art through anti-art cultural works. Its purpose was to ridicule what its participants considered to be the meaninglessness of the modern world. In addition to being anti-war, dada was also anti-bourgeois and anarchistic in nature.
Dada activities included public gatherings, demonstrations, and publication of art/literary journals; passionate coverage of art, politics, and culture were topics often discussed in a variety of media. The movement influenced later styles like the avant-garde and downtown music movements, and groups including surrealism, Nouveau réalisme, pop art, Fluxus and punk rock.
One explanation maintains that it originates from the Romanian artists Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco's frequent use of the words da, da, which, translated into English is equivalent to yeah, yeah, as in a sarcastic or facetious yeah, right. (Da in Romanian strictly translates as yes.)
Another theory is a group of artists assembled in Zürich in 1916, wanting a name for their new movement, chose it at random by stabbing a French-German dictionary with a paper knife, and picking the name that the point landed upon. Dada in French is a child's word for hobby-horse. In French, the colloquialism c'est mon dada means it's my hobby.According to the Dada ideal, the movement would not be called "Dadaism", much less designated an art-movement