In this poster, Indonesian propagandists have used the traditional strong bond between a mother and her son to encourage Indonesian youths to support Indonesia’s struggle by taking up arms. The mother conveys at least two messages: first, “Berdjoanglah anakkoe” (Fight, my son), and second, “Iboe Rela” (Your mother is willing [to let you fight]). This poster represents the importance of a mother’s blessing for the anticolonial struggle. Indonesians often refer to Indonesia as the ibu pertiwi, which literally means ‘motherland’ rather than ‘fatherland’. Hence, this poster depicts a mother who is willing to let go of her son so he can fight for the motherland.
‘Iboe Rela’. One of a set of 13 sheets of original Indonesian drawings, probably designs for propaganda posters. C. 1947. Watercolour on stiff paper. Or. 27.649.