In a settlement outside Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, three children are waiting for their mother to come home. They are wrapped in blankets, as a cold draught is coming through the door. Dogs are barking outside in the darkness, and Russian voices are talking on the small TV in the corner of the house. When the clock turns 23.00, their mother Nuria will come back from work. She will walk along the dusty road from the bus stop towards the settlement in which her house stands. Here she lives with her five children, in the shadow of Bishkek, at an address, which does not exist.
After Kyrgyzstan received their independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the country has faced a lot of challenges. Kyrgyzstan is struggling with poverty and unemployment, which has made around half a million Kyrgyz people abandon their villages for the capital city Bishkek in search of work and a better life. However in Bishkek there are no houses and very little work for the many internal migrants, therefore many people had to settle down in areas outside the capital. Here people are living in the shadow of the capital, with very few rights and nowhere else to go.
45-year-old Nuria and her five children are some of the 2000 internal migrants, who are living in the settlement Altyn-Kazyk near the city garbage place dump. Nuria has not seen her husband for almost two years, as he left for Russia to find work. Nuria is also working many hours away from her children during the week, as she is cleaning in a public bath in Bishkek, to help her provide for her children.