The Civic Museum of the Giara Horse has the role of gathering past testimonies of its host town, Genoni, by focusing on real-life experiences and knowledge, deeply rooted in the historical memory of its population and preserved in material objects, work, accounts and the environment. It is the historical memory of a community whose course has always been accompanied by the presence of the Giara horse, like a shadow never leaving its side, defining its shape and guiding it through time.
The Museum’s exhibition is based on interviews of the local population who experienced life in wartime years. The people of Genoni were invited to take part and, as always, there was an active and substantial response. In the interviews, we tried to gather an uninfluenced representation, by avoiding overly specific questions which could have swayed the interviewee. We also sought to document only the clearest memories.
The microhistories recounted are bound to their local area without ever separating themselves from the context. Furthermore, they offer an additional documentary cross section, which calls for an alternative type of museum exhibition, capable of meeting these documentary requirements.
With the aim of also involving young children, the interviews have been passed through the hands of a leading artist and illustrator, Pia Valentinis, who after analysing the collected works, was able to portray them in her illustrations. These pictures heighten the museum experience with the ambitious goal of managing to reach different levels of sensibility.
A valuable artistic contribution to the Museum has been made by Prof. Giulio Angioni, who has documented the rooms, offering a deeper insight into Sardinian social and cultural anthropology, and creating a dialectic link between local and regional contexts. A further valuable contribution by Dr Marco Piras from Agris (Regional Agency for Agricultural Research) has provided specialist advice in the section dedicated to the Giara horse.
Thanks to the collaboration of RP-Sardegna onlus, material can be accessed via the pentalibro, an important support tool assisting special needs visitors on their discovery of the Museum. Sharing the same objective, Archeogeo has created small-scale reproductions of the largest museum objects, making it possible for visitors to feel the entirety of such objects with their hands.
The most important contribution has been made by the soul of the Museum, the entire local population, who in a different way have participated, collaborated, donated, contributed, and who continue to contribute to the life of the Giara Horse Museum.