In modern day Georgia a monk of the Orthodox Church, Fr. Maxim, is restoring with aid from local villagers a small 1200 year old monastic chapel on top of Katskhi Pillar. The pillar is a natural rock formation jutting upwards from the ground to a height of approximately one hundred forty feet. It was known to be used by stylites as late as the 15th century when foreign occupation by the Islamic Ottoman Empire brought an end to the practice. Upon completion Fr. Maxim hopes to take up residence on top of Katskhi as a stylite monk.
French photographer François Beaurain visited the small town of Chiatura back in 2014. He brought back the essence of the town, captured in photographs and animations. “Chiatura is located in western Georgia and is well known for its huge manganese deposit and its extensive cable car network transporting miners and ore up and down the valley. All the infrastucture was built during the soviet times and has been barely refurbished since. Chiatura seems trapped in time, like the workers who are also trapped to their machines, endlessly repeating the same gesture.” Visit his website to see more works.