A Feeble Post-Lockdown Bounce – FBNQuest

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This week, FBNQuest is sharing the findings of the third round of COVID-19 Impact Monitoring, a telephone survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) with support from the World Bank. The bureau contacted the same 1,950 Nigerian households in April/May, between 02 and 16 June, and now between 02 and 16 July. The first survey was held during the selective lockdown, the second once some restrictions had been eased and the third when the country was making further steps towards what passes for normality. At this stage, a total of twelve rounds are planned with the World Bank.

We can see from the latest survey that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has kept most Nigerians informed remotely through text messages. More than two-thirds of respondents had received guidance and health tips from the centre, and of this number almost 90 per cent were happy to make use of the service. The use of mobile telephony to spread simple, practical messages has been a successful government tool across many developing countries.

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Responses in the third round tell us that economic activity is picking up from the low point in March/April, and that we are seeing a slow recovery in Nigeria rather than a bounce. This week the national accounts for Q2 2020 were released by the NBS: the overall result (-6.1 per cent y/y) is the worst for about 15 years but likely to prove the weakest in 2020.

The share of respondents in employment in July (81 per cent) is close to the pre-COVID level of 85 per cent and way above the low of 43 per cent in lockdown. This picture must be qualified however, urban Nigeria lags rural. A good number of respondents have moved industries, typically from agriculture to commerce or services. Some have found their new posts precarious. Almost half the wage workers surveyed, who represent just 12 per cent of respondents, were working fewer hours than pre-COVID, and only 11 per cent more hours.

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That the virus has brought more inflation is evident from the NBS inflation reports and from this third round. Access to staple foods has improved, above all for cassava, yet price and availability remain deterrents for many households. The same applies to public transport: more services but higher prices. Nigerians surveyed are struggling to pay their rents, with 23 per cent in urban areas termed ‘rent insecure’ as a result of declining income and higher food and non-food prices.

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The responses on safety nets and coping mechanisms confirm what we have already learnt from the national accounts and the quarterly results of listed companies about the squeezing of household budgets. Relative to the first round in April/May, dependence on food assistance, and domestic and external remittances has sharply fallen while drawing on income from property, savings and investments has picked up nicely. (The NBS note suggests that the decline in food support may have been the consequence of the school holidays.)

As for the mechanisms to handle shocks, we note a rise in the share of households that have reduced their food consumption from 54 per cent between mid-March to April/May to 69 per cent between April/May and July. There was a sharper increase, from 11 per cent to 33 per cent, for those engaged in additional income generation. Many of these new posts, as indicated earlier, are expected to prove insecure.

The main positive is the rising share of respondents in employment. It is outweighed, however, by the findings on prices, household finances and safety. Economic recovery is expected to be slow.

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How the documenta invented the “Zero Hour” in art after 1945

“documenta. Politics and Art” from 18 June 2021 to 9 January 2022

 

BERLIN, GERMANY - Newsaktuell - 1 March 2021 - The documenta owes its rise to the most successful German art exhibition not least to its political dimension: its disassociation from National Socialism and the bloc building of the Cold War. It was informed on the one hand by the supposed attempt to distance itself radically from Nazi cultural politics while at the same time refusing to deal openly with the Nazi past. On the other hand, its politically motivated orientation on the West included a decided aloofness toward and denigration of the socialist art of the "Eastern bloc".

A Feeble Post-Lockdown Bounce - FBNQuest - Brand Spur

Federal President Theodor Heuss at documenta 1, 1955 © documenta archiv / Photo: Erich Müller

With "documenta. Politics and Art" the Deutsches Historisches Museum takes up the example of the famous exhibition in Kassel to shed light on the manifold interactions between politics and art in the society of the Federal Republic after 1945. Parallel to this, the exhibition "'Divinely Gifted'. National Socialism's favoured artists in the Federal Republic" (27.8.21 -- 6.2.22) presents for the first time an examination of the post-war careers of so-called "divinely gifted" visual artists whom the Nazi authorities, from 1944 on, had deemed to be "indispensable" and were therefore exempt from front-line military service or other work for the war effort.


Raphael Gross, President of the Deutsches Historisches Museum: "With these exhibitions we want to bring to light a new perspective on the history of the Federal Republic in its international context. Both of them correct the notion of a radical aesthetic new beginning, which has often been attributed to the documenta and of which the early documenta framers made extensive use. There were, in fact, unbroken lines leading back to National Socialism. Works by murdered Jewish artists found no room in the early editions of the documenta. And in our exhibition on the previously almost unresearched 'Divinely Gifted', we are showing, conversely, the degree to which this group of visual artists who had been active in the Nazi cultural sector dominated the public space after 1945 and continue to dominate it to this day."

Long Version: https://www.dhm.de/en/press/press-release/how-the-documenta-invented-the-zero-hour-in-art-after-1945/


A Feeble Post-Lockdown Bounce - FBNQuest - Brand Spur
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