Susan Norrie
Spheres of Influence

7 June - 13 July 2024

Susan Norrie is renowned for making documentary-style films on important social, political and environmental issues. Her latest, Spheres of Influence, has enormous relevance as conflicts in the Middle East continue. In 2016 Norrie travelled to Iraq after being commissioned by the Australian War Memorial as the official war artist. The film juxtaposes the daily routines of Australian, New Zealand and Iraqi soldiers with scenes filmed in the Palace of Versailles.

The film considers the collateral damage of endless wars in the Middle East. Paris-based, exiled Iraqi writer and poet Salah Al-Hamdani plays a key role in the film’s narrative. His reminiscence and opinions about the current conflict are a powerful counterpoint to the realities of camp life. Walking through the Palace Al-Hamdani discusses the ongoing tension caused by the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, which divided Iraq into British and French spheres of influence.