Martin Henriksson Holmdahl Prize goes to Afaf Doleeb and Patricia Lorenzoni

21 November 2019

The Martin Henriksson Holmdahl Prize is Uppsala University’s foremost award for contributions to the promotion of human rights and liberty. This year’s prize is shared by graduate student Afaf Doleeb and researcher Patricia Lorenzoni for their commitment to issues such as developments towards peace in Sudan and the situation of indigenous peoples in Brazil.

The Martin Henriksson Holmdahl Prize was instituted by the University in 2003 in celebration of the 80th birthday of its former vice-chancellor and has continued to be awarded in his memory since his passing. The Award Board has decided that the 2019 prize should be shared between master’s student Afaf Doleeb and Assistant Professor Patricia Lorenzoni, both of whom work at Uppsala University.

The Committee writes:

Afaf Doleeb.
Photo: Magnus Aronsson

Afaf Doleeb comes from Sudan and has been enrolled on Uppsala University’s Master's Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies since 2018, as a Rotary peace scholar. She has been committed to democratic development for many years and has been especially active in the peaceful protests that have been going on in her homeland throughout 2019. Although Sudan’s dictator was deposed in April, peaceful protests have continued and in August a unique power-sharing agreement was reached between representatives of the country’s military leaders and the pro-democracy movement. Afaf Doleeb has been diligently engaged in this movement in Sudan and from Sweden, working throughout to ensure a peaceful transition to a new government based on human rights and the rule of law. She recently joined others in creating a Facebook group specifically dedicated to actively monitoring the new government’s compliance with the August agreement.

Patricia Lorenzoni.
Photo:Johan Wingborg

Patricia Lorenzoni is employed at the Centre for Multidisciplinary Studies on Racism at Uppsala University. A creative and innovative researcher, Lorenzoni deals with issues of colonialism, racism and racialisation. She also studies subjects such as whose violence and suffering is perceived as most important. Patricia Lorenzoni is particularly engaged in issues relating to the situation of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin in Brazil; for example, the concept of Brazilian nationhood, indigenous land rights, climate change and the recent dramatic increase in man-made forest fires. She has also addressed issues related to the asylum process for unaccompanied refugee minors, among other things as an active participant in the Asylum Commission, a gathering of researchers and civil organisations in Sweden. She is also a prolific contributor to the cultural pages of prominent Swedish newspapers.

The prize will be awarded at the Winter Conferment Ceremony on 31 January 2020.

The Martin Henriksson Holmdahl Prize

The prize of SEK 25,000 can be awarded to employees and students of Uppsala University, either individually or in groups, as well as to alumni who have maintained a strong connection to the University. Nominations are accepted from the University’s faculties, departments and students. A Board specifically appointed for the purpose by the vice-chancellor of Uppsala University makes the award.