Pia by Lucretia Torva


Media: acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 36″x48″
year: 2019

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Pia Klemp, b. 1983
She is a ship captain, animal and human rights activist and author from Germany. She was
always interested in conservation of the ocean environment and wildlife. In 2011 she joined the
marine conservation organization Sea Shepherd, working for six years in various positions such
as cook, rescue diver, deckhand, ship manager and second mate, while gaining her sea
captain’s patent.

Through 2017 Pia worked for the Sea Shepherd organization to participate in international
operations to protect sea animals. With the emerging European migrant crisis since 2015, she
switched in 2017 to rescue ship operations in the Mediterranean Sea. One of her ships, the
Iuventa, was seized by Italian authorities in 2017, who accused her of cooperating with human
traffickers. If convicted, she faces 20 years in prison.

Pia Klemp has stated that if she is convicted, she will fight the verdict all the way to the
European Court of Human Rights. It is common knowledge that it is every captain’s duty to
rescue drowning people.

I pictured her outdoors, on the deck of her ship with her hair windblown and sun raking across
her face. Her pupils are small because she is looking over the water into the sky. Her tight
lipped expression shows her determination, as if she is telling us: “I didn’t ask for this, but I am
doing it anyway.”