Lisbet was born in 1946 in Copenhagen. Since her early years, she revealed a strong interest for Africa that found expression in her drawings and photo collections from the continent.
In 1964, while in Paris, she attended the screenings of ethnographic films in the Musée de l’Homme. There she met for the first time Jean Rouch who further triggered her interests in Africa, film and ethnography.
In 1966, she moved to Norway and began to study art and social anthropology at the University of Oslo. In 1969, with the help and encouragement of Jean Rouch, she went to Eastern Niger for her first fieldwork.
In 1971, she moved to Tromsø and started to work at the newly established university, first at the museum and subsequently at the Faculty of Social Science.
From the mid 1970’s she conducted an extensive fieldwork about women’s lives during times of rapid change in Northern Norway.
Since 1982, she has been working in Ngaoundéré in Northern Cameroon. She has written articles and made films about women, power, education and religion in Northern Cameroon and established Anthropos, a collaboration programme between the universities in Tromsø and Ngaoundéré.
In 1997, thanks to the success of Anthropos, she was able to raise funds for the Master’s programme in visual anthropology at the University of Tromsø. Since the creation of Visual Cutural Studies (VCS), nearly 200 films have been made by the students and staff of the programme.
Lisbet is currently professor emerita at VCS. She continues working on the audio-visual material collected in Africa and Northern Norway and travels to Cameroon every year.