“Much of the time I’m not even looking at the viewfinder; instead I’m glancing all around me, calculating what’s going to happen next and whether or not I need to move,” he says. “My strongest tactic is to think back to when I was younger. As a child we jump, roll, hide and play all the time; it feels instinctive to move around in a creative way. Those instincts don’t leave us, and now I know what I can use them for.” Beyond those instincts, Bahgat’s only protection is a pair of heat-resistant gloves that enable him to hurl back any teargas canisters landing near his feet, and some onions and eyedrops to help combat the effects of the gas. Bahgat’s exploits have earned him an almost mythical reputation among revolutionaries, many of whom describe him standing serenely with his camera in the thick of the action, seemingly immune to the ammunition and chaos exploding all around him. But as Bahgat himself explains, rumours of his invincibility are wide of the mark: he has been hit by gas cylinders, sprayed with birdshot, and has had eight pieces of metal in his leg for 10 months; shrapnel embedded so deep that doctors are loth to remove it. The distinction between activist and journalist is one that doesn’t concern him; he also dismisses any claims to heroism, shuffling uncomfortably whenever passersby stop to offer praise.