Monsters of the Apocalypse
The end of the world is upon us. Plumes of fog erupt from the earth. Solar flares burst into the atmos. The oceans boil and swell, flooding shores around the planet. And finally, monsters appear, walking among us, spreading fear, portending our doom. But among this devastation, a messiah appears before us. To make meaning. To give us hope. To show us the beauty in monstrousness that we must all accept. What many have feared shall be viewed through a new, shining, light. The societal norms that we so stubbornly hold in such high regard shall be ripped from us and hurled into hellfire. The demarcations of gender, shattered within an instant. Our bodies will hold no clear signifiers; only their individuality.
Monsters of the Apocalypse acts as a queer reimagining of the end of the world, as well as a proposal for what a new one might look like. Using the language and presentation of radical preachers, Patel delves into the root of monstrosity.
However, in essence, the monster has always been a transgressor of cultural norms. It is an innovator, providing an alternative to linear, conformist mindsets. A monster acts as a source of difference and uniqueness, that should be aspired to. The monsters in this work tell a story of our current societal issues, but rather than fear them, we must accept them to find our only way out. Using her own experience living as a transfemme of color within a Eurocentric heteronormative society, Patel incorporates radical relations between the norm and the other. She investigates how the monstrous body (the “other”) can be used to create fear and revulsion, but also as a site of exploration and societal growth. In us, we all have a monster waiting to get out, but to find them, we must die, and we must be reborn.