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Safa Samiezadé-Yazd illuminates graffiti's role in the Arab Spring tonight at the DAM

Just as American graffiti art comprises a variety of styles, techniques and intent, so does its Middle-Eastern counterpart -- but that's just scraping the surface of these art forms. Their differences begin with what's most basic to the medium: alphabets and hand-strokes as unlike as East and West. And while American graffiti may be politically driven, modern Arabic graffiti-writing covers a Middle-Eastern map of insurrection and uprisings.

See also: Denver's Best Graffiti Street Art: The top twenty

"Just as rap became the soundtrack to the Arab Spring, graffiti was its canvas, an open-ended graphic novel of sorts, an illustrated history where the silenced could finally articulate their voices, their situations, their identities," writes Asian Media arts editor and scholar Safa Samiezadé-Yazd in an article for Art21 Magazine.

Samiezadé-Yazd will share her knowledge on the subject tonight at the Denver Art Museum in a slide lecture, "Spraycan Calligraphy: Graffiti Art from the Middle East," presented by the museum, DAM Contemporaries and the Asian Art Association. Hear her elaborate from 7 to 9 p.m. on the lower level of the DAM's Hamilton Building. Tickets are $10 to $15; find information at the Denver Art Museum online.

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