The show presents images captured by British war photographer Sean Smith for The Guardian newspaper.
As well as Smith’s more recognisable images, the display will also feature previously unpublished photographs, with the exhibition spanning the interior and exterior of the gallery space.
Around 30 photographs will be displayed in IWM North’s WaterWay Gallery, accompanied by an outdoor exhibition of large-scale 5m high framed images outside the museum.
Alongside images shot during the war, the show looks to contextualise the conflict by demonstrating the effects it had on normal Iraqi people’s lives both before and after the event.
Smith, who has documented the war in Iraq for The Guardian newspaper since 2003, was first sent to the area just three months before the war began on the evening of 19 March 2003.
It’s a revealing insight to see people going about their lives – attending parties and weddings, getting on with quotidian tasks – all the while knowing that war was imminent.
The images tell stories of the co-existence of civilian and military communities, forced to live with one another with – as we see – sometimes poignant, sometimes deeply troubling consequences.
The anniversary will also be marked at IWM London from October 2013, exploring the cost and complexities of modern conflictthrough photographic exhibitions by British photojournalist Mike Moore and Lee Craker, a United States Command Photographer in Iraq 2008 – 2011.
Iraq: Photographs by Sean Smith runs from 9 March until 2014 at IWM North, The Quays, Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester M17
All images courtesy of Guardian News & Media and Sean Smith