Occupied City

Occupied City/Bezette Stad is one of the key anti-war works of the Dadaist movement. First published in 1921 as a work of ‘rhythmical typography’, it is primarily about the German occupation of Antwerp during the First World War. But it is also a love song to the modern city, and a declaration of war on post-1918 Europe. Designed and illustrated by the Flemish artist Oscar Jespers, this epic poem was originally advertised as ‘a book devoid of Biblical beauty / a book for royalists and republicans / for doctors and illiterates / a book that lists every important song of the last ten years / in short: as indispensable as a cookbook / “What every girl should know.”’

Cover image: Oscar Jespers