With many families in Tajikistan increasingly turning to migration as an answer to their financial hardship, “Behind the Wheel” serves as an inquiry into the challenges this phenomenon can present for those who stay behind. It explores the moral and emotional turmoil of Nigora, an Uzbek woman whose traditional life of being a housewife is turned upside down after her migrant husband fails to send back enough money and she finds out he has been having an affair. No longer able to rely on her husband, Nigora defies prevailing gender norms and sets to work fixing car tyres.
Elise Laker is a London-based researcher and film-maker, specialising in the Middle East and Central Asia. She is a recent graduate of the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology and holds a BA in French and Russian from the University of Nottingham.