This article examines how the Ethiopian Swedish artist Loulou Cherinet portrays the construction of gender and nation as a balancing act between men and women, local and international forces. In particular, the essay focuses on how she forces her audience to confront the fact that if we abstract one of these binaries from the other, we end up with stereotypical stories that do not take us far in understanding our own condition. Yet she also teaches us that the subject’s story never belongs to him or her alone: what we face on the outside turns out to be as important as what we face on the inside.

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