An artist, in my understanding of the word, should side with the people against the Emperor that oppresses his or her people.
I tell my students, it's not difficult to identify with somebody like yourself, somebody next door who looks like you. What's more difficult is to identify with someone you don't see, who's very far away, who's a different color, who eats a different kind of food. When you begin to do that then literature is really performing its wonders.
People from different parts of the world can respond to the same story if it says something to them about their own history and their own experience.
One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.