In 2008 the foundation kunst:raum sylt quelle, in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg launched the first annual Sylt Quelle Cultural Award for Southern Africa, open to artists of all disciplines from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland.
The award set out to discover how Southern African writers, artists, choreographers, musicians, film-makers and others, see their art form in the context of the society they live in; how they engage with local issues; and their ideas about solving problems pertaining to their region through their art.
It was Ismail Farouk's 'Johannesburg Trolley Pusher Formalisation Project' that won their favour. Engaging inner city renewal in a practical, but not uninspired way, the judges were impressed with Farouk’s ingenious scheme to legalise the trolley pushing activity in the inner-city of Johannesburg. Farouk focuses his project on the trolley pushers who transport heavy luggage between the Jack Mincer Taxi Rank and the Park City Taxi Rank in Johannesburg. The carts are, more often than not, stolen property and regularly confiscated by the police. Many of the trolley pushers are also illegal immigrants, adding to their woes with the law.
It was Ismail Farouk´s Trolleypusher Formalization Programme that won the first award.