sabisa was founded in 1995 as a Study, Exchange and Education Initiative with Southern Africa aiming towards promoting exchange in the areas of intercultural communication and education between Southern African countries and Germany. One of the first activities was a research and exchange project in cooperation with the ASA Programme of the Carl Duisberg Society on land reform after democratisation in South Africa and Eastern Germany in which South African and German university students participated.

In 2002 sabisa organised the first exchange and training programme with South African and German theatre practitioners in cooperation with the World Community Services (Weltfriedensdienst e.V.) called "Communicating in Conflicts". The success of the project and the lack of a space to further develop the use of creative media for conflict resolution in Germany lead to a new orientation for sabisa.

In April 2003 sabisa was therefore transformed and reconstituted as sabisa - performing change. Performing arts in processes of social change and conflict resolution have since been at the core of our activities and partnerships. Our networking now has a local and a global perspective, focusing strongly on the potentials of dialogic learning between the Global North and South.