What a country needs to do is be fair to all its citizens - whether people are of a different ethnicity or gender.
An artist, in my understanding of the word, should side with the people against the Emperor that oppresses his or her people.
My parents were early converts to Christianity in my part of Nigeria. They were not just converts; my father was an evangelist, a religious teacher. He and my mother traveled for thirty-five years to different parts of Igboland, spreading the gospel.
Once you allow yourself to identify with the people in a story, then you might begin to see yourself in that story even if on the surface it's far removed from your situation. This is what I try to tell my students: this is one great thing that literature can do - it can make us identify with situations and people far away.
Gus Van Sant