The National Lockdown in my country was an unexpected and something new to us, with nowhere to go, rooftops have become the new found places during the pandemic. I shot this picture from my rooftop of a family get-together during the lockdown. I have been living in an apartment which is on the fifth Floor and above is a rooftop but I rarely go there. But with limited movement during the pandemic, I have a chance to go out to take a breather. Every time I walk to my rooftop, I feel like entering into a different world, I see people coming out of their homes to spend their time; the rooftops seem to appear like the streets in the sky. With the world struggling to fight the pandemic and to live with it, I hope that my images of rooftop will give strength, solace and hope in these difficult times. Rooftop is not only about the daily life of people and materials that structure home and a sense of place, but also the enduring human and personal experiences during the most vulnerable times.
Madhu Gopal Rao Rama is a freelance photojournalist from a small town of Warangal, India. He studied photography at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in Hyderabad, India (1994). His works focus on social conflicts, anthropological studies on tribal and rural communities. He is currently working on a personal project that explores his relationships with the people around him and life during the pandemic. His works have been published in magazines such as India Today, Cosmopolitan, Travel plus and Discovery India. Madhu has received multiple awards and grants in the past years from various institutions in India and abroad such as the Senior Research Fellowship in Photography by the Ministry of Culture of the Government of India (2017), Sahapedia Frames Photography Grant in India (2018), and the Documentary Award by the Humanity Photo Award in China. His work about the Kakateeya architecture has been honored with Associateship by the Royal Photography Society in London, UK. His works have been shown at the International Development Research Center Canada, The Griffin Museum of Photography, Art Heritage Gallery in India, National Academy of Art in New Delhi, and National Center for Performing Arts in Mumbai, and Pondyphoto 2016. He recently completed a 12-week documentary photography workshop and was mentored by Christopher Morris. His ongoing project ‘Rooftop’ Life during Pandemic, is exhibited at Indian Photo Festival 2020. Madhu is currently based in Hyderabad, India.