Sorting shells, Ilha de Armona, Portugal on 27th February 2021 – by Audrey Gillan

“Ilha de Armona is one of five barrier islands in the Ria Formosa that protect the Eastern Algarve from the full force of the Atlantic. I have been living here alone since the beginning of November, listening to the sounds of a place where there are no roads, where the restaurants are closed and the people are few and far between. Every day at low tide, men stand amidst the waves raking up the sand looking for small butterfly-like bivalves called conquilhas – sweet, meaty little clams that are most often cooked with garlic, olive oil and coriander. It’s back-breaking work and as the tide turns, the clam fishermen sort through their bounty, first shaking it through a large sort-of sieve, then sorting through them by hand.”