The Decameron Project 


The issue is inspired by The Decameron, a book of novellas set in 1353 Italy during the bubonic plague. This modern take on the concept commissioned 29 original short stories by contemporary fiction writers around the globe while we are all living in the time of Covid-19.

This piece visualises a short story by Dina Nayeri, about a couple who met and fell in love in wartime Tehran, who are now remembering how their love came about in a time of forced closeness while quarantined together on a sabbatical in France. 

Following the rough shape of an eye, our author peers back into the basement in Tehran, decorated with pillows, bright floor cloths, soft quilts, and fuzzy blankets. Set against the grapefruit sky of present-day Paris, the couple in the basement regard each other furtively, a nod to the fear and desire that shaped their sexual awakening and reawakening. The colour palette draws from the use of red – red siren, red alert, taste of cherry – danger and desire.

View the full issue and short story here.