Beate Petersen is educated from the Academy of Art in Oslo and the Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in St. Petersburg. She works with drawing and documentaries. She also writes for various art publications. In her documentaries she has addressed the connection between the performative, the political and the personal in Russian Orthodox and Shia Islamic rituals, such as in the Russian funeral service and the Iranian celebration of Ashura.
Her documentaries have been shown at MoMA in New York, the Istanbul Biennale, the National Museum of Art, Design and Architecture in Oslo, as well as numerous film festivals. In 2012, she won the Autumn Exhibition Award for the documentary "Nasseredin Shah and his 84 Wives". This film has also been screened at numerous festivals and at BBC Persia and Histoire. She is represented in the collections of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design and Sørlandets Kunstmuseum.
Beate Petersen lives and works in Oslo, Norway.