This poster appears to have been produced and distributed shortly after Indonesian independence was declared, as can be gathered from its use of English. Hence it was intended to attract the attention and sympathy of the Allied forces. The word “right” in this poster is a key word, because it reflects the main message of the Indonesian nationalists: Indonesian independence was not a Japanese gift but the right of the Indonesian people. As such, it countered Dutch accusations that Indonesian nationalist leaders, including Sukarno, were Japanese accomplices. In this way, the poster serves to build legitimacy for the existence of an independent Indonesian state by emphasizing that independence is a basic human right for every nation.
‘We don’t ask for freedom, we’ve got the right to it!’. One of a set of thirteen sheets of original Indonesian drawings that were used as designs for propaganda posters. c. 1947. Watercolour on stiff paper. Or. 27.649.