These momentary encounters cut short by the unstoppable movement of the observer solicit an empathy with the characters. Long after the images have faded the stories continue to reverberate in our minds. That those stories are not the objective truth is entirely besides the point. We’ve put ourselves into other people’s shoes and for more than a passing moment, on a train ride across seven timezones, or looking at a simple photograph, the world feels a little less alien.
(Defamiliarization or ostranenie is the artistic technique of presenting to audiences common things in an unfamiliar or strange way in order to enhance perception of the familiar. According to the Russian formalists who coined the term, it is the central concept of art and poetry.) from Wikivisually