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Keith Stafford
Was Murdered

July - September 2021. Participatory performance in Tallahassee, FL. 28 days in duration. 

Keith Stafford Was Murdered used a community access point to draw attention to the murder of a local unhoused man, Keith Stafford. After meetings with the unhoused community in Tallahassee, nik rye collaboratively constructed the community access point with Eric Champagne and Hali Tauxe. The transdisciplinary artwork utilized social practice, DIY, digital media, news media, and carpentry. 
The community access point was at once a memorial sculpture and a reminder of the causes of Keith Stafford's murder. As a result of gentrification in a neighborhood previously known as All Saints, the City of Tallahassee removed a bus stop shelter at the corner of Gaines St and Railroad Ave. Keith Stafford had slept under the shelter for almost a decade to evade the elements and remain visible at night. After he was displaced, he was murdered by a serial killer targeting the unhoused two weeks later.
The work
 invited the citizens of Tallahassee to participate in a constructed social narrative as well as mourn the loss of a well-known Tallahassee resident. The public intervention allows participants to question what they accept as the status quo as well as consider the systemic oppression of those living on the street. 

Dedicated to the memory of Keith Stafford

Community access point collaboratively constructed and installed with Eric Champagne and Hali Elise Tauxe. 

Photography by nik rye, Hali Elise Tauxe. and participants. 

On the first night of the performance, nik rye live-streamed unhoused friends of Keith speaking about him and about their experiences living outside. Participants lit candles, shared food on the sidewalk, and supported each other in a moment of vulnerability. 


Photo by Hali Elise Tauxe, 2021. 

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